Chapter

Introduction

in Representative Democracy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780226842783
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226842806 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226842806.003.0001
Introduction

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This book explores (and defends) the arguments of the minority that believes democracy and representation to be complementary rather than antithetical. Their arguments subvert both kinds of skepticism because they deny that representation is an expedient or second best, and assert that representation is primed to expand democratic participation and in fact is essential to democracy—in other words, that democratic representation is not an oxymoron. This introductory chapter inquires into the conditions under which representation is democratic—that is, a mode of political participation which can activate a variety of forms of citizen control and oversight—arguing that representative democracy is an original form of government that is not identifiable with electoral democracy. It also clarifies the reasons why this is a crucial and timely objective for politics and political theory. An overview of the subsequent chapters is presented.

Keywords: representation; democratic; political participation; representative democracy; electoral democracy

Chapter.  6359 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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