Representation and the Governing Process: A Study in The Republican Theory of Government
Williams, Thomas S.
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"Representative government" refers to the substance of government actions, when the term is taken in its fullest sense. Representation theory needs to be concerned with the policy outputs of the government if it is to provide us with some guidelines by which we may classify governments. What end is served in terms of providing an understanding of the governing process if representation theory only deals with the question of electorally-based responsibility in government. Such an analysis neglects the greater portion of the government! What of the administration? What of the judicial branch? If representation theory is only concerned with the manner in which elected officials are elected, and with the manner in which they are held responsible, without dealing with the substantive issue of policy making, then all that we may learn is that the people of a state had a hand in their own fate. This paper attempts to examine the concept of representation in the broader context of the governing process. Only through such an approach as this do I believe that one can fully appreciate the intricacies of the republican theory of government.
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