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Recursive Representation in the Representative System

Fri, September 1, 2:00 to 3:30pm, Hilton Union Square, Continental Parlor 9


One response to the decline in legitimacy of standard representative systems may be to make communication between representative and constituent more central to both representative theory and practice. In each of the three arenas of the representative system – the electoral, administrative, and societal -- the normative goal of good represented-representative communication requires reconceptualizing, restructuring, and supplementing our understanding of representation. A revitalized normative theory of represented-representative communication suggests the need for better empirical understanding of the effects on such communication of different electoral systems, forms of constituency service, processes of accountability, descriptive representation, and the division of labor between represented-representative communication and policy-making.


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