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Brazilian Political Science Review (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1981-3821


MENDONCA, Ricardo Fabrino. Representation and deliberation in civil society. Braz. political sci. rev. (Online) [online]. 2008, vol.3Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1981-3821.

This paper discusses the issue of political representation, by arguing the necessity of re-envisioning it so as to consider non-electoral forms of representation. It claims that civil society associations can be conceived of as representatives of a series of discourses, voices, opinions, perspectives and ideas. Whilst this type of representation lacks formal mechanisms of authorization and accountability, its legitimacy may emerge from the effects of such associations and from their porosity to several interactional loci. The paper suggests that associations that are open to several discursive spheres are more prone to foster a discursive accountability, built within a broad process in which discourses clash in several communicative contexts. The idea of a deliberative system helps to understand the interconnections among these interactional loci, as it points to the possibility of a dynamic between partiality and generality, which is at the heart of political representation.

Keywords : Political representation; Associations; Civil society; Deliberative democracy; Interactional loci.

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