Systemic Representation: Democracy, Deliberation, and Nonelectoral Representatives

J.W. Kuyper

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40 Citations (Scopus)
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This article explores the relationship between non-electoral representatives and democratic legitimacy by combining the recent constructivist turn in political representation with systemic work in deliberative theory. Two core arguments are advanced. First, non-electoral representatives should be judged by their position in a wider democratic system. Second, deliberative democracy offers a productive toolkit by which to evaluate these agents. I develop a framework of systemic representation which depicts the elemental parts of a democratic system and assigns normative standards according to the space occupied. The framework gives priority of democratic analysis to the systemic level. This helps mitigate a central concern in the constructivist turn which suggests that representatives mobilize constituencies in ways that are susceptible to framing and manipulation. I engage in case-study analysis of the collapsed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to unpack the different spaces occupied by non-electoral representative and elucidate the varied democratic demands that hinge on this positioning. © 2016 American Political Science Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-324
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Cited By :14

Export Date: 19 September 2018

Correspondence Address: Kuyper, J.W.; Stockholm UniversitySweden; email:

Funding details: 200971 DII, ERC, European Research Council

Funding details: 421-2011-1862, VR, Vetenskapsrådet

Funding details: 2011-779, VR, Vetenskapsrådet

Funding details: RJ, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond

Funding text: This research was made possible by grants from Riksbanken Jubileumsfond and the European Research Council (200971 DII) as well as the Swedish Research Council (Project No. 421-2011-1862) and Formas (Project No. 2011-779). All remaining errors are mine.

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