Analyzing the procedural conceptions of democracy - through the writings of Hans Kelsen, Joseph Schumpeter and Norberto Bobbio - the essay shows that they are neither purely formal nor completely procedural. It is because of this «impure» and «unfinished» character that they avoid the paradox of being bound to consider democratic any decision made following set rules (independently from its content), even that of abolishing democracy itself, if it is taken by an elected parliament. In Jurgen Habermas’s conception, the procedural character is rather of «communicative reason» and regards democracy only indirectly. A trait which makes his conception a sui generis one. Habermas critique of liberal democracy stresses the point of autonomy. A fundamental element of democracy which can be taken back in assuming responsiveness to be its counterpart in a representative setting. The essay concludes that responsiveness should be added to the five constitutive rules of democracy Bobbio set.