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In Our NameThe Ethics of Democracy$
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Eric Beerbohm

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154619

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154619.001.0001

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Representing Principles

Representing Principles

(p.193) Chapter 8 Representing Principles
In Our Name

Eric Beerbohm

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the vertical division of democratic labor between citizens and their lawmaking principals, recasting the problem of representation by taking up the citizen's perspective. In particular, it introduces the notion of principled representation, which defends an agency relationship designed for a less-than-ideal democracy and envisions principles of justice as codefining—not exhausting—democratic life. The chapter first considers two conceptions of practical authority to show how a theory of democratic representation can assign citizens an ongoing role in basic structural reasoning. It then tests the theory of principled representation by exposing it to increasingly nonideal conditions and presents two arguments for the proposed approach. First, it simultaneously avoids the command and council problems. The second argument appeals to a conception of political equality that understands citizens as peers in reasoning about shared terms of interaction.

Keywords:   democratic labor, citizens, lawmaking, representation, principled representation, agency, democracy, justice, practical authority, reasoning

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