The Public Side of Representation: A Study of Citizens' Views about Representatives and the Representative Process

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $31.15
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 52%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (2) from $31.15   
  • Used (2) from $31.15   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Very Good
Albany, NY 2007 Hard cover Very Good. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 210 p.

Ships from: Harrisburg, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:


Condition: Good
Buy with Confidence. Excellent Customer Support. We ship from multiple US locations. No CD, DVD or Access Code Included.

Ships from: Fort Mill, SC

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


Representation lies at the very heart of our political system, yet few attempts have been made to examine citizens' views about the representative process. The Public Side of Representation fills that void. Through a series of in-depth interviews, Christopher J. Grill explores people's abstract beliefs about representation, expectations for members of Congress, views on the representative-constituent relationship, and conceptions of Congress as an institution. The resulting analysis describes what the participants view as the essential building blocks of the representative process, depicts how they think representatives should make voting decisions, explains what they believe are the most important roles for members of Congress, and appraises their understanding of the actual representative process. Highly readable and accessible, The Public Side of Representation provides greater insight into American politics, citizens' expectations about government, and the roots of public discontent with the contemporary political process.

About the Author:
Christopher J. Grill is an independent research consultant living in Rensselaer, New York

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…an exploratory work that challenges us to ask new questions, [this book] is … a success.” — Journal of Public Administration

“Representation is full of dilemmas. Using carefully structured and meticulously reported in-depth interviews, Christopher Grill shows that most citizens see those dilemmas clearly and are prone to resist simplistic solutions. In the tradition of Lane and Gamson, he shows that we can learn a great deal by letting ordinary people speak to difficult issues in their own words. The book is important both as a demonstration of the value of in-depth interviewing and for its contribution to our understanding of Americans’ attitudes toward political institutions.” — Paul J. Quirk, coauthor of Deliberative Choices: Debating Public Policy in Congress

“This insightful book reveals, as no other has, how strongly many constituents feel about communication—especially two-way communication—and political courage in their representatives. Constituents may also be more willing to be told unpalatable truths and may understand better the difficulties of representatives balancing the competing demands on their time than we have thought. An invaluable door has been opened to further research and institutional invention.” — Jane Mansbridge, coeditor of Oppositional Consciousness: The Subjective Roots of Social Protest

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791471692
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 8/23/2007
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher J. Grill is an independent research consultant living in Rensselaer, New York.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Introduction and Overview 1

A Crisis of Representation? 1

The Missing Public 3

A Different Approach 5

Chapter 2 Research Methodology 9

Introduction 9

Approaching the Subject 10

The Research Process: Instrument and Interviews 13

The Research Process: Coding and Analysis 15

Profile of Respondents 16

The Idea of Political Sophistication 17

Conclusion 19

Chapter 3 The Idea of Representation 21

Introduction 21

The Nature of Responsiveness: Preface 22

Attentiveness 26

Openness and Accessibility 27

Involvement: Visibility and Direct Contact 28

Communication: The Heart of Representation 34

Concluding Remarks 42

Chapter 4 Representation in Practice 43

Introduction 43

Communication: Opportunities and Pitfalls 44

Making Voting Decisions: The Hypotheticals 47

Resolving Decision-Making Dilemmas 48

Vital Representational Functions: Explanation and Education 54

Assessment: Fenno, With Some Twists 64

Chapter 5 The Representative Relationship 67

Introduction 67

Representatives Defined 68

Members' Job Obligations 72

Role Expectations: The Rank Scales 77

Assessment 82

Representatives as Political Models? 83

"A Tough Job": Being a Representative 86

Members' Burdens: The Inherent Conflicts of Representation 90

The Balancing Act of Representation 93

Concluding Remarks 94

Chapter 6 Institutional Representation 97

Introduction 97

Conceptions of Congress 98

Institutional Roles: The Rank Scales 100

Assessment 103

View of the Congressional Democratic Process 104

The State of the Representative Process 109

Improving the Representative Process113

Conclusion: Conceptualizing Congress 120

Chapter 7 The Public Side of Representation 123

Revisiting the Idea of Representation: Insights and Implications 123

Institutional Representation 130

Surprising Sensitivity-and Blind Spots 131

Public Beliefs and the Representative Process 135

Some Final Thoughts 140

Appendix A Research Instruments 143

Appendix B Interview Excerpts 149

Appendix C Coding Tables 156

Notes 165

Bibliography 197

Index 203

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)