Christopher K. Ansell

in Pragmatist Democracy

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199772438
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918997 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


This chapter challenges a “monistic” conception of sovereignty that envisions public action as flowing, in an unbroken chain, from popular sovereignty. This monistic conception imposes strong hierarchical accountability on public agencies and discourages them from building more bottom-up consent for strategic problem-solving. To build this bottom-up consent, public agencies must be more embedded in the communities they serve. Such embeddedness, however, raises serious concerns about corruption and fair representation. The chapter explores the possibilities for “embedded autonomy,” where agencies maintain their autonomy while engaging more directly with external stakeholders.

Keywords: consent; popular sovereignty; pluralism; accountability; embeddedness; embedded autonomy

Chapter.  9168 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.