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Reconciling representation and accountability

  • An egalitarian approach to the fair representation of voters specifies three main institutional requirements: proportional representation, legislative majority rule and a parliamentary system of government. This approach faces two challenges: the under-determination of the resulting democratic process and the idea of a trade-off between equal voter representation and government accountability. Linking conceptual with comparative analysis, the article argues that we can distinguish three ideal-typical varieties of the egalitarian vision of democracy, based on the stages at which majorities are formed. These varieties do not put different relative normative weight onto equality and accountability, but have different conceptions of both values and their reconciliation. The view that accountability is necessarily linked to clarity of responsibility', widespread in the comparative literature, is questioned - as is the idea of a general trade-off between representation and accountability. Depending on the vision of democracy, the two valuesAn egalitarian approach to the fair representation of voters specifies three main institutional requirements: proportional representation, legislative majority rule and a parliamentary system of government. This approach faces two challenges: the under-determination of the resulting democratic process and the idea of a trade-off between equal voter representation and government accountability. Linking conceptual with comparative analysis, the article argues that we can distinguish three ideal-typical varieties of the egalitarian vision of democracy, based on the stages at which majorities are formed. These varieties do not put different relative normative weight onto equality and accountability, but have different conceptions of both values and their reconciliation. The view that accountability is necessarily linked to clarity of responsibility', widespread in the comparative literature, is questioned - as is the idea of a general trade-off between representation and accountability. Depending on the vision of democracy, the two values need not be in conflict.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Steffen GanghofORCiDGND
URN:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-413456
Parent Title (English):Government and Opposition
Subtitle (English):three visions of democracy compared
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Reihe (96)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2018/07/23
Year of Completion:2016
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2018/07/23
Tag:accountability; political equality; visions of democracy
Pagenumber:25
Source:Government and Opposition Vol. 51, No. 2 (2016); DOI: 10.1017/gov.2015.15
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Sozialwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 32 Politikwissenschaft / 320 Politikwissenschaft
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht