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Global Stakeholder DemocracyPower and Representation Beyond Liberal States$
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Terry Macdonald

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199235001

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199235001.001.0001

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Theorizing Global Representative Agency: Non‐Electoral Authorization and Accountability

Theorizing Global Representative Agency: Non‐Electoral Authorization and Accountability

(p.163) 7 Theorizing Global Representative Agency: Non‐Electoral Authorization and Accountability
Global Stakeholder Democracy

Terry MacDonald

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that establishing legitimate representative agency in global politics does not require election mechanisms, of the kind that are employed to identify legitimate representatives within state-based democracies. Rather, legitimate representative agency can be established through alternative non-electoral mechanisms of authorization and accountability. The chapter begins by elaborating a fundamental reason for viewing elections as a legitimate means of establishing representative agency: that elections have the capacity to deliver stakeholders some degree of political control over their representatives' actions, and hence some degree of political control over the public political decision making in which they have a legitimate stake. It follows from this that, at least in principle, we could establish legitimate non-electoral representative agency if it were possible to identify alternative institutional mechanisms that could deliver equivalent forms of political control to stakeholders. The chapter then argues that the specific forms of political control over representatives' actions that elections deliver to stakeholders are those entailed in institutional mechanisms of authorization and accountability, which need not be instituted through elections to serve the relevant democratic function.

Keywords:   representative, election, non-electoral, authorization, accountability, stakeholders

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