Representation as Responsiveness

Andrew Kuper

in Democracy Beyond Borders

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780199274901
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601552 | DOI:
Representation as Responsiveness

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Develops a theory of representation that can guide the democratization of societies of great and even global scope. Kuper elucidates the institutional conditions necessary for (1) good judgements about interests to be made, (2) by adequately informed and capable agents, (3) who are empowered and constrained to act on such judgements responsibly. He argues that elections, competitive party politics, the classical tripartite separation of powers, media, and civil society are insufficient mechanisms for securing such substantive representation. He proposes an alternative institutional configuration, a new ‘plurality of powers’ that supplements and transforms these mechanisms. Among Kuper’s proposals for new institutions are: ‘advocacy and accountability agencies’ that will reduce power imbalances; a global ‘Charter of Obligations’ that will reduce bureaucracy; and a vision of ‘responsive global citizenship’ that will reduce citizen passivity. These innovations will enable citizens to exercise greater control, and enable representatives to act more effectively, than under a system of states.

Keywords: accountability; advocacy; bureaucracy; citizens; citizenship; civil society; elections; interests; judgement; representation; responsibility; responsiveness; separation of powers; the public; trust

Chapter.  26322 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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