The orthodox case: the drift from representation towards solidarity<sup>*</sup>

Darren Halpin

in Groups, Representation and Democracy

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780719076527
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701690 | DOI:
The orthodox case: the drift from representation towards solidarity*

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This chapter examines the ‘orthodox’ case of representative groups that under-perform. It makes the point that a major source of pessimism about groups as democratic agents is not the lack of democratic practices constitutionally within representation groups, but with the lack of this constitutional promise being implemented. The hollowing out of the UK Federation of Small Businesses and the NSW Farmers' Association, in Australia, was a choice made by groups who needed to balance the active engagement of members with a desire to grow the group such that it had the resources for a research-based policy advocacy. They chose a pathway to group growth that necessitated a substantial increase in resources. Small businesses or farmers would and did join for policy related reasons, but just not in big enough numbers to build the resources desired by leaders to engage in resource-intensive research-based advocacy.

Keywords: representative groups; pessimism; democratic agents; NSW Farmers' Association; Federation of Small Businesses; research-based advocacy; constitutional promise

Chapter.  10956 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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