The Politics of Presence

Paperback | October 1, 1998

byAnne Phillips

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One of the most hotly-contested debates in contemporary democracy revolves around issues of political presence, and whether the fair representation of disadvantaged groups requires their presence in elected assemblies. Representation as currently understood derives its legitimacy from apolitics of ideas, which considers accountability in relation to declared policies and programmes, and makes it a matter of relative indifference who articulates political preferences or beliefs. But what happens to the meaning of representation and accountability when we make the gender or ethniccomposition of elected assemblies an additional area of concern? In this innovative contribution to the theory of representation - which draws on debates about gender quotas in Europe, minority voting rights in the USA, and the multi-layered politics of inclusion in Canada - Anne Phillips argues that the politics of ideas is an inadequate vehicle for dealingwith political exclusion. But rejecting any essentialist grounding to group identity or group interest, she also argues against any either/or choice between ideas and political presence. The politics of presence then combines with contemporary explorations of deliberative democracy to establish adifferent balance between accountability and autonomy. Series description Oxford Political Theory presents the best new work in contemporary political theory. It is intended to be broad in scope, including original contributions to political philosophy, and also work in applied political theory. The series contains work of outstanding quality with no restriction as toapproach or subject matter. The series editors are David Miller and Alan Ryan. `the latest, thoughtful contribution in Anne Phillip's ongoing enquiry into issues of equality, gender and democracy...an excellent contribution to democratic theory'. Political Studies

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One of the most hotly-contested debates in contemporary democracy revolves around issues of political presence, and whether the fair representation of disadvantaged groups requires their presence in elected assemblies. Representation as currently understood derives its legitimacy from apolitics of ideas, which considers accountability ...

Anne Phillips is at London Guildhall University.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:October 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198294158

ISBN - 13:9780198294153

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Table of Contents

1. From a Politics of Ideas to a Politics of Presence?2. Political Equality and Fair Representation3. Quotas for Women4. Race-Conscious Districting in the USA5. Canada and the Politics of Inclusion6. Deliberation, Accountability, and Interest7. Loose Ends and Larger Ambitions

Editorial Reviews

`Is the latest, thoughtful contribution in Anne Phillips's ongoing enquiry into issues of equality, gender and democracy ... Phillips's conclusions are always justifiedly tentative ... an excellent contribution to democratic theory.'Richard Kuper, University of Hertfordshire, Political Studies, Vol. 45, No. 1, March '97