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Between promise and practice
Author: Darren Halpin

Whether called pressure groups, NGOs, social movement organisations or organised civil society, the value of ‘groups’ to the policy process, to economic growth, to governance, to political representation and to democracy has always been contested. However, there seems to be a contemporary resurgence in this debate, largely centred on their democratising potential: can groups effectively link citizens to political institutions and policy processes? Are groups an antidote to emerging democratic deficits? Or do they themselves face challenges in demonstrating their legitimacy and representativeness? This book debates the democratic potential and practice of groups, focusing on the vibrancy of internal democracies, and modes of accountability with those who join such groups and to the constituencies they advocate for. It draws on literatures covering national, European and global levels, and presents empirical material from the UK and Australia.

Geography and the British electoral system

Representational democracy is at the heart of the UK’s political constitution, and the electoral system is central to achieving it. But is the first-past-the-post system used to elect the UK parliament truly representative? To answer that question requires an understanding of several factors: debates over the nature of representation; the evolution of the current electoral system; how first-past-the-post distorts electoral politics; and how else elections might be conducted. Running through all these debates are issues over the representation not only of people but also of places. The book examines all of these issues and focuses on the effect of geography on the operation of the electoral system.

Derek Birrell

Staff Commission has a general duty to enhance local government but its existence reflected both the limited size of local government and continuing government concern with fair employment practices. Politics and local government Throughout the operation of direct rule local government functioned as a major forum for the expression of the views of the electorate and local government was the major platform for local political representation outside the Westminster Parliament. Despite local government operating with limited functions its political role was important

in Direct rule and the governance of Northern Ireland
Dimitrios Theodossopoulos

, while ethnographers located them in typological descriptions: ‘the Emberá are like that’, as if the Emberá have always been the same. In this respect, the mystical image of the Emberá with the loincloth or the paruma, hides from view the possibility that Emberá life had always embraced change. As we are about to see, the Emberá would soon modernise their wardrobe and reorganise their political representation, only to rediscover their ‘traditional’ clothes once more. Episode two: resettling in concentrated communities The next episode in my story of Emberá clothes

in Exoticisation undressed
Livestock statistics and expertise in the late nineteenth-century Cape Colony, 1850-1900
Dawn Nell

information and, as such, statistical information went hand in hand with political authority. Statistics on livestock and crop production were at the centre of debates on livestock disease legislation, the development of the railway network and even the nature of political representation in the Cape. 17 Statistics formed the basis of ‘true knowledge’, which, so far as they were concerned, was what provided

in Science and society in southern Africa
Chinese puzzles and global challenges
R. Bin Wong

not always vary positively with levels of democratic practice. I suggest instead that technologies of rule that enable concerns for social welfare can exist quite independently of European-derived ideas and institutions of political representation and government administration. Could these non-European practices suggest ways to approach social welfare challenges beyond the specific case of China, which is the main subject of this Bayly 04_Tonra 01 21/06/2011 10:20 Page 104 104 History, historians and development policy chapter? If so, our textbook understanding

in History, historians and development policy
Gregor Gall

is finished. It’s over. Some say that the party can still be changed, but Labour can’t be changed. Maybe there will have to be a new political party for workers’ sometime down the road … Let’s go ahead with a People’s Charter and win over the hearts and minds of workers to ensure better political representation for our class.25 The beginning of this new political formation was the founding of the No2EU electoral alliance in early 2009. Its slogan in the 2009 European elections was ‘Yes to democracy’, but it changed to ‘Yes to workers’ rights’ in the 2014 European

in Bob Crow: Socialist, leader, fighter
Rebecca Gill

those championing political representation for women. To these veterans of the ‘Bulgarian atrocities’ agitation, and those fresh from recent campaigns over the Ottoman treatment of Christians in Armenia and Crete, the memory of Gladstone was never far away, his reputation as an icon of liberal internationalism soon to be sealed by Morley’s celebrated

in Calculating compassion
Simone de Beauvoir and a Global Theory of Feminist Recognition
Monica Mookherjee

-dimensional analysis of gender injustices, including symbolic misrecognition, resource scarcity and lack of political representation. In spite of her rejection of the label, she suggests cosmopolitan hope for diverse women's engagement as agents of their own needs and rights. While such aims are clearly noteworthy, certain blind spots in Fraser's formulation of

in Recognition and Global Politics
Place, space and discourse
Editors: Christine Agius and Dean Keep

Identity is often regarded as something that is possessed by individuals, states, and other agents. In this edited collection, identity is explored across a range of approaches and under-explored case studies with a view to making visible its fractured, contingent, and dynamic features. The book brings together themes of belonging and exclusion, identity formation and fragmentation. It also examines how identity functions in discourse, and the effects it produces, both materially and in ideational terms. Taking in case studies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the various chapters interrogate identity through formal governing mechanisms, popular culture and place. These studies demonstrate the complex and fluid nature of identity and identity practices, as well as implications for theorising identity.