Representing Representation: A Core Theory for Political Science

Ian Budge, Hans Keman, Michael McDonald and Paul Pennings

in Organizing Democratic Choice

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654932
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741685 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Representing Representation: A Core Theory for Political Science

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Economics has always gained coherence and strength from its central focus on the supply of goods through the free market. This cuts through the complexities of real life and other types of economic organization. It also conveniently fuses normative with descriptive considerations. As the free market most flexibly matches the supply of goods to demand, diagnosis and reform should concentrate on moving towards it and theory can then concentrate on how it works. Political science has been a long time developing a similar core theory about the way public policy is matched to popular preferences. A first step is to recognize political representation as the discipline’s core concern. Once this is done this book provides a validated and fully specified theory of how democratic processes necessarily match public policies to popular demand. The theory is fully presented in eighteen propositions in this chapter, which complement the formal and mathematical treatment given to it in Chapter 12. The chapter provides a springboard for the future development of political science going beyond the specific concerns of this book.

Keywords: economic science; political science; core theory; representation; policy supply and demand

Chapter.  4658 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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