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From Plural to Institutional AgencyCollective Action II$
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Kirk Ludwig

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198789994

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198789994.001.0001

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The Division of Labor and Proxy Agency

The Division of Labor and Proxy Agency

(p.186) 13 The Division of Labor and Proxy Agency
From Plural to Institutional Agency

Kirk Ludwig

Oxford University Press

Chapter 13 first lays out the problem of proxy agency. An example of a proxy agent is a spokesperson for an organization. When the spokesperson, appropriately authorized, in the right conditions, with the right intention and message, speaks, we count the group as announcing something. Thus, it appears that the group does something but only one of its members acts. Proxy agency appears then to be inconsistent with the multiple agents analysis of collective action. Chapter 13 provides an account of proxy agency, focusing on the case of a spokesperson, that draws on the notion of a status function and constitutive agency to show it can be compatible with the multiple agents account of institutional action. Then it clarifies and extends the account by defending it against objections. Finally, it discusses the systematic use of the same terms in different senses in relation to individual and institutional agency.

Keywords:   proxy agency, spokesperson, group speech acts, authorization, multiple agents account

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