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Models of Representation - Theories of Democracy

This was part of a half day workshop with councillors on theories of democracy and representation, as part of their Post Graduate certificate in Local Governance, London Southbank University.

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Models of Representation - Theories of Democracy

  1. 1. Post Graduate Certificate in Local Governance for Councillors Models of Representation - Theories of Democracy Bridget Harris March 2011
  2. 2. Discussion Share Ideas Group Work Individual Work x Saturday 26 th March 2011 outline of workshop
  3. 4. quotes 1. What assumptions is the writer making about the relationship between the represented and the representative? 2.What are the possible problems with these assumptions? 3. Can you think of real-life examples which demonstrate some of these ideas?
  4. 5. What does equality look like? ?
  5. 6. equality Some more equal than others? our relationship to these issues is more emotive - more tied to our shared interests, more culturally referenced, more privately motivated.
  6. 7. Are people the best judges of what is in their own interests? ?
  7. 8. interests What is difference between being an 'expert' and 'knowing what is best for you' more than you will ever able to discover yourself? When is it acceptable to [coercively] enforce our view over yours?
  8. 9. How best to mediate between groups & different interests? ?
  9. 10. associations <ul><li>geographical </li></ul><ul><li>ascriptive attributes </li></ul><ul><li>inherited resources </li></ul><ul><li>values, religion, cultural beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>powerful groups </li></ul><ul><li>empathy, apathy and altruism </li></ul><ul><li>the nation state </li></ul><ul><li>tyranny of the majority </li></ul>
  10. 11. What about the Demos? What about the structures? What about individuals? examples
  11. 12. What do people think they are getting when they vote? ?
  12. 13. functional - ie based on group interests emotional - ie based on helping individual casework (ie to act for them) parental - ie based on making the best decision in everyone's interests mimesis - ie to mirror the constituent Voting
  13. 14. group work
  14. 15. Group Work: Work out the different models of representation ?
  15. 16. 1. What type of representative are you? 2. How do you apply the assumptions behind this? 3. What things do you enjoy most about your job? 4. What are the tensions that exist? 5. What are the crucial 'must haves' about your role? 6. Can you see your job changing in the future? Would you like it to? Your role as a councillor
  16. 17. conclusions ?
  17. 18. Bridget Harris [email_address] March 26th 2011