Representing people, representing nature, representing the world

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Problems of representation lie at the centre of recent experiments in deliberative democracy. The problems are not primarily social scientific questions concerning the statistical representiveness of small-scale deliberative institutions but normative questions about their political and ethical legitimacy. Experiments in deliberative democracy often rely for their representative legitimacy on appeals to the presence of members of different groups. However, they often do so without clear sources of authorisation and accountability from those represented. The representation of nonhumans and future generations in deliberative institutions is still more problematic. In the necessary absence of their authorisation, accountability, and presence, claims to speak on their behalf relies on epistemic claims, coupled with care. To highlight these problems is not to claim that small deliberative institutions are illegitimate but rather to point out the need for a clearer account of their role in democratic institutions and the proper sources of contestability of their outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-500
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironment & Planning C: Government & Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


Dive into the research topics of 'Representing people, representing nature, representing the world'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this