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On Self-Appointed Representation

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

Abstract

Without the authorization and accountability normally established by the reward of re-election or the sanction of removal from office, how do we identify as representative and assess as legitimate the claims made by actors who informally appoint themselves as representatives in the public sphere? Whereas such actors would be both illegitimate and undemocratic according to most normative accounts of democratic representation, I argue that they have the potential to perform an important democratic function: to speak for those who are affected by decisions but are not situated within electoral constituencies that can determine those decisions, or who suffer from disparities of political weight and efficacy.

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