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Between-Election Democracy: The Representative Relationship After Election Day (ECPR Studies in European Political Science) [Hardcover]

Marc Hooghe , Kees Aarts , Audrey André , Henrik Serup Christensen , Sam Depauw , Kris Deschouwer , Roy Gava , Mikael Gilljam , Peter Esaiasson , Hanne Marthe Narud

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Book Description

29 Sep 2013 ECPR Studies in European Political Science
Challenged by the notion that the system of government known as 'representative democracy' is more elitist than is commonly assumed, contributors to this book seek new approaches to empirical studies on the relationship between citizens and their chosen representatives. The book focuses on the way in which representatives and citizens interact during mandate periods between elections. It contributes in three ways to previous research on the representative relationship. First, by thinking broadly about between-election phenomena, it integrates research literatures which study representative relationships parallel to each other, on separate tracks. Second, it aspires to identify questions that have remained unanswered, or even unidentified, in previous representation research. Third, it suggests a reconceptualisation of 'responsiveness', which acknowledges that representatives are required to communicate their reason for actions but not necessarily to adapt to citizens' wishes and views.

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'Traditional political representation research focuses mainly on elections as instruments of representative democracy. In theory, voters can bring public policy in line with their preferences by voting for parties and representatives that share their policy views. But they can do so only once every four or five years. For the effectiveness of political representation, it is at least as important how responsive political representatives are in the long periods between elections and which mechanisms make them more or less responsive. This book makes an important and original contribution to the literature on political representation by studying the effectiveness of these mechanisms between elections. Esaiasson and Narud s extremely timely volume is a must-read for anyone interested in the normative and empirical aspects of political representation.' --Jacques Thomassen, Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of Twente

'This book brings a novel and integrating perspective to non-electoral representative democracy. While research has documented the crude nature of the electoral instrument although distributing legitimacy, mandate and punishment the literature on representative processes between elections rarely conceptualizes their overarching, supplementary impact. The authors examine the rich toolbox available to citizens and representatives to gain guidance and establish limitations for responsive, everyday government. They refine our theoretical understanding and extend our empirical knowledge of the behavioural and communicative processes central to representative, but elitist democracy.' --Knut Heidar, Professor, Institutt for Statsvitenskap, University of Oslo

About the Author

Peter Esaiasson is professor of political science at the University of Gothenburg. He has published several books on political representation, election campaigning and empirical democratic theory. His articles have appeared in journals including British Journal of Political Science; European Journal of Political Research; Electoral Studies; Governance; European Political Science Review and Party Politics. Hanne-Marthe Narud (1958-2012) was professor of political science at the University of Oslo. A member of the ECPR Executive Committee 2003-2009, she was elected into the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in 2009. Professor Narud published 14 books on elections, parties, and political representation, and her articles appeared in journals including European Journal of Political Research; Electoral Studies; Journal of Theoretical Politics; Comparative Sociology and Party Politics.

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