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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais

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LAVALLE, Adrián Gurza; HOUTZAGER, Peter P.  and  CASTELLO, Graziela. Political representation and civil organisations: new forms of mediation and the challenges for legitimacy.Translated byRoberto Cataldo. Rev. bras. ciênc. soc. [online]. 2007, vol.3Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0102-6909.

This article examines the new forms of political representation civil organisations are constructing in their relation with the State, and some of the possible consequences for the quality of democracy. There are no historical or theoretical established models of representation which enable one to explore how civil organisations, in the absence of the elections or formal membership, can construct their political representativeness. For this reason, political representation by civil organisations has received little attention despite its growing importance. Extensive fieldwork in São Paulo, Brazil, reveals that political representation by civil organisations is closely connected to the dynamics of institutions of representative democracy. Furthermore, it reveals that alongside notions of representation that are clearly irreconcilable with democratic standards, a new notion of representation is emerging among civil organisations which is specifically political and compatible with democracy.

Keywords : Political representation; Civil society; Policy councils; Participation; Deepening democracy.

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