In any democracy, the central problem of governance is how to
inform, organize, and represent the opinions of the public in order
to advance three goals: popular control over leaders, equality
among citizens, and competent governance. In most political
analyses, voting is emphasized as the central and essential process
in achieving these goals. Yet democratic representation encompasses
a great deal more than voter beliefs and behavior and, indeed,
involves much more than the machinery of elections. Democracy
requires government agencies that respond to voter decisions, a
civil society in which powerful organized interests do not dominate
all others, and communication systems that permit divergent voices
to be heard."Representation: Elections and Beyond" brings together
leading international scholars from a wide range of disciplines to
explore the twenty-first-century innovations--in voting laws and
practices, in electoral systems, in administrative, political, and
civil organizations, and in communication processes and new
technologies--that are altering how we understand democratic
representation. Featuring twelve essays that engage with national,
provincial, and municipal governments across three continents, this
volume tackles traditional core elements of democratic
representation, such as voting, electoral systems, and political
parties, while also underscoring the ways in which beliefs and
preferences of citizens are influenced, expressed, and aggregated
and the effects of those methods and practices on political agendas
and policy outcomes. In pinpointing deficiencies in contemporary
democratic practices and possibilities for reform, "Representation"
provides an invaluable roadmap to improve democratic representation
in the twenty-first century.Contributors: Andre Blais, Pradeep
Chhibber, Archon Fung, Jacob Hacker, Zoltan Hajnal, Matthew
Hindman, David Karpf, Georgia Kernell, Alexander Keyssar, Anthony
McGann, Susan Ostermann, Paul Pierson, Dennis Thompson, Jessica
Trounstine, Mark E. Warren.
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