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Representation and decision making in politics
 

Representation and decision making in politics

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A presentation to the Young Women African Leaders Movement and the British Council's 'InterAction' Leadership group on theories of representation.

A presentation to the Young Women African Leaders Movement and the British Council's 'InterAction' Leadership group on theories of representation.

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  • the three models

Representation and decision making in politics Representation and decision making in politics Presentation Transcript

  • Bridget Harris , Leadership Consultant, August 2009 representation equality diversity YWALM and Interaction
      • politicians
      • board members
      • doctors
    What is representation? ... people making decisions on our behalf
      • journalists
      • campaigners
      • parents
  • Different decision makers...
      • doctors
      • parents
      • trustees
      • campaigners
    trustee descriptive
      • politicians
      • journalists
    mandate
  • Competence, confidence Knowledge, education Management skills competence versus direct experience Visionary? Communicator? Fixer? representatives same experiences shared interests same constraints Gender? Race? Age?
  • three models
      • trustee:  because I'm better than you
      • mandate: because  you've told me what to do
      • descriptive: because I'm like you
  • does representation work? "the rights and interests of every (or any) person are only secure from being disregarded when the person interested is himself able, and habitually disposed, to stand up for them "   (John Stuart Mill)
  • a test for good representation... ...are you going to be personally affected by the decision you are making on behalf of others?
  • How does descriptive representation work? you are always directly involved
      • direct democracy (5th Century BC Athens)
      • referenda
      • local groups
      • participatory budgeting
      • community empowerment
  • How does descriptive representation work? you are randomly selected
      • juries
      • opinion polls
      • focus groups
      • surveys
  • How does descriptive representation work? you  elect individual or different groups
      • electoral system (pr)
      • quotas
      • electoral boundaries
      • devolution
  • Does descriptive representation make a difference?
      • reactions of the represented
      • policy outcomes
      • legitimacy and symbolism
      • party political, ideologies, selection systems
      • individual circumstances, opportunities, status, confidence
    barriers to entry
      • the system, institutions, processes
  • Examples from UK overcoming barriers: systemic
  • overcoming barriers: party politics
  • overcoming barriers: individuals www.beacouncillor.org.uk
  • Question: Do men need to be more like women, or women need to be more like men in order to achieve equality? A question of equality..?
  • Bridget Harris , Leadership Consultant, August 2009 questions? [email_address]