Chapter

Representing diversity

Robert E. Goodin

in Innovating Democracy

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780199547944
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191720116 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547944.003.0012
Representing diversity

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‘Mirror representation’ or a ‘politics of presence’ presupposes relatively modest levels of diversity among those being represented. If the groups to be represented are too numerous, internally too heterogeneous or too cross-cutting, too many representatives will be required for the assembly to remain a deliberative one where ‘presence’ can have the effects its advocates desire. In those circumstances, what is being represented ought be conceptualized as the ‘sheer fact of diversity’ rather than ‘all the particularities of the diversity among us’. The appropriate response to that is legislative reticence.

Keywords: representation; politics of presence; political diversity; deliberative democracy; pluralism

Chapter.  9933 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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