Councillors and democracy: What do they think, and how can differences in their views be explained?
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Municipal councils are representative bodies and are thus a core institution of a particular understanding of democracy – namely representative or ‘liberal’ democracy. This model of democracy stresses (i) the individual’s right to participate in general elections and through this process, the aggregation of individual preferences to form guidelines for those in representative bodies or in government and (ii) the capacity to make those representative bodies accountable to the individual citizen through those elections. However, it is an open question as to whether or not councillors have an understanding of democracy according to this model – or one which deviates from and goes beyond this model by considering and valuing interrelations based on broader forms of participation, beyond participating in elections.
KeywordsLiberal Democracy Basic Belief Representative Democracy Participatory Democracy Representative Body
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