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The Politics of Presence
     

The Politics of Presence

by Anne Phillips
 
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

Overview

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

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The strength of Phillip's book lies in its ability to theorize the political in an empirically and historically informed manner."—Choice

"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."—Talking Politics

"Phillip's book is a useful discussion of such contemporary issues in democratic theory as equal representation, participation, group interest, and accountability"—Ethics

"Anne Phillips has written an extraordinary book....She has blazed a trail worth following."—Law and Scoail Inquiry

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191520969
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
10/05/1995
Series:
Oxford Political Theory
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
271 KB

Meet the Author

Anne Phillips is Professor of Politics at London Guildhall University.

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