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Palgrave Macmillan

Rethinking Popular Representation

ISBN 9780230621367
Publication Date December 2009
Formats Hardcover Paperback Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Governance, Security and Development

Rethinking Popular Representation starts out from the deep concern with contemporary tendencies towards depoliticisation of public issues and popular interests. It is argued that the root cause of this is flawed representation, due to both elitist institution building and fragmented citizen participation. Hence the book makes a case for the need to rethink more democratic popular representation. Towards this end the book outlines an overarching analytical framework for popular representation, examines key theoretical issues and empirical experiences of popular representation and provides a policy-oriented conclusion.

OLLE TÖRNQUIST is Professor of Political Science and Development Research at the University of Oslo, Norway.

KRISTIAN STOKKE is Professor in Human Geography at the University of Oslo, Norway.

NEIL WEBSTER is Senior Research Fellow at the Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark.

The Problem is Representation! Towards an Analytical Framework; O.Törnquist
What is the Relationship Between Participation and Representation?; N.Chandohoke
The Paradox of Civil Society Representation: Constructing New Forms of Democratic Legitimacy in Brazil; P.P.Houtzager & A.Gurza Lavalle
Practices of Symbolic Representation; K.Stokke & E.Selboe
Representative Governance or the Co-Option of Citizens? The Status of Service Users in Local Politics in West Bengal; N.Webster
The Politics of Gradualismo: Popular Particpation and Decentralized Governance in Mozambique; L.Buur
Representation by Design? Variations on Participatory Governance in Brazilian Municipios; G.Baiocchi & P.Heller
Patronage Democracy in Provincial Indonesia; G.V.Klinken
Compromised Democracy: Observations on Popular Democratic Representation from Urban India; J.Harriss
Trade Unions and Popular Representation: Alliances and Institution Building African Experiences; B.Beckman
Popular Politics of Representation: Dilemmas and Experiments in Indonesia, the Indian State of Kerala, and the Philippines; O.Törnquist, N.Quimpo & M.Tharakan
Implications for Policy and Practice; N.WebsterO.Törnquist K.Stokke


"This innovative, insightful exploration of democratic political representation helps clarify why democracy has stagnated in many parts of the developing world and what can be done to revitalize it. The editors have assembled a top-notch cross-regional group of experts andorganized the work around a lucid analytic framework of utility to aid practitioners, civic activists, and scholars." - Thomas Carothers, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
"Despite waves of democratic upsurge, why does popular representation need re-thinking? Because states are commodified and captured, stripped of democratic politics, and because representation is fractured and 'un-popular.' This book examines how democratic representation can be scaled up. It is a uniquely valuable addition to our understanding of democratic governance." - Barbara Harriss-White, Professor, Department of International Development, Oxford University
"A deeply engaged, engaging, and diverse volume for all of us interested in reducing the democratic deficit in poor countries." - Mick Moore, Professor, Institute of Development Studies
"This is a very significant and high-quality contribution to some pressing debates around the politics of development and democratization in the post-colonial world. These include the important challenges involved in securing not only the inclusion but also the influence of marginal and poor peoples in key decision-making processes that shape their lives, and of the deeper processes of state and citizenship formation that shape these possibilities." - Samuel Hickey, Senior Lecturer, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester
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