One of the most hotly-contested debates in contemporary democracy revolves around issues of political presence, and whether the fair representation of disadvantaged groups requires their presence in elected assemblies. Representation as currently understood derives its legitimacy from a politics of ideas, which considers accountability in relation to declared policies and programmes, and makes it a matter of relative indifference who articulates political
preferences or beliefs. But what happens to the meaning of representation and accountability when we make the gender or ethnic composition of elected assemblies an additional area of concern?
In this innovative contribution to the theory of representation - which draws on debates about gender quotas in Europe, minority voting rights in the USA, and the multi-layered politics of inclusion in Canada - Anne Phillips argues that the politics of ideas is an inadequate vehicle for dealing with political exclusion. But rejecting any essentialist grounding to group identity or group interest, she also argues against any either/or choice between ideas and political presence. The
politics of presence then combines with contemporary explorations of deliberative democracy to establish a different balance between accountability and autonomy. Series
description Oxford Political Theory presents the best new work in contemporary political theory. It is intended to be broad in scope, including original contributions to political philosophy, and also work in applied political theory. The series contains work of outstanding quality with no restriction as to approach or subject matter. The series editors are David Miller and Alan Ryan. `the latest, thoughtful contribution in Anne
Phillip's ongoing enquiry into issues of equality, gender and democracy...an excellent contribution to democratic theory'. Political Studies
`The strength of Phillip's book lies in its ability to theorize the political in an empirically and historically informed manner.'
`It would be a pity if the title of this book caused it to be overlooked, for there is much to stimulate thought and ideas within its pages.'
`Is the latest, thoughtful contribution in Anne Phillips's ongoing enquiry into issues of equality, gender and democracy ... Phillips's conclusions are always justifiedly tentative ... an excellent contribution to democratic theory.'
Richard Kuper, University of Hertfordshire, Political Studies, Vol. 45, No. 1, March '97
1: From a Politics of Ideas to a Politics of Presence?
2: Political Equality and Fair Representation
3: Quotas for Women
4: Race-Conscious Districting in the USA
5: Canada and the Politics of Inclusion
6: Deliberation, Accountability, and Interest
7: Loose Ends and Larger Ambitions
Series: Oxford Political Theory
Number Of Pages: 220
Published: 1st October 1998
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.2 x 15.7
Weight (kg): 0.37