Participation, Representative Democracy, and the Courts

Rachel A. Cichowski and Alec Stone Sweet

in Democracy Transformed?

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780199264995
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603259 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

 Participation, Representative Democracy, and the Courts

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This analysis examines the relationship between representative democracy and courts. In particular, it asks to what extent can citizens activate judicial institutions to pursue more diffuse public policy issues and whether this use has grown over time? To assess this change, cross-national variations in three institutional variables: separation of powers, judicially enforceable rights, and rules governing standing to sue state authorities, are examined. The findings reveal increasing levels of public interest litigation around the globe that has led to a creeping judicialization of policy-making.

Keywords: courts; democracy; rights; standing to sue; public interest litigation; judicialization

Chapter.  13108 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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