Chapter 13: Representation
While more agencies than ever before have a say in policy-making and administration, most join these political conversations without having been elected. Does this make them undemocratic? At first glance, this seems to present a problem of legitimacy, but rather than questioning the democratic credibility of governance processes we might instead ask whether elections are too narrow a means of gauging representation, and explore wider and broader modes of representation which more accurately reflect the lived experience of politics and governance. This chapter begins by discussing developments in the more conventional branches of representation studies but then turns to discuss two influential new approaches: Michael Saward’s “representative claim” and John Dryzek and Simon Niemeyer’s “discursive representation.” The chapter ends by exploring issues of inequality and representativity through a discussion of gender, which highlights the importance of symbolic representation to the everyday practice of politics.
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