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Representing People, Representing Nature, Representing the World

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  • John O'Neill

    (Centre for Philosophy, Institute for Environment, Philosophy, and Public Policy, University of Lancaster, Lancaster LA1 4YG, England)

Abstract

Problems of representation lie at the centre of recent experiments in deliberative democracy. The problems are not primarily social scientific questions concerning the statistical representiveness of small-scale deliberative institutions but normative questions about their political and ethical legitimacy. Experiments in deliberative democracy often rely for their representative legitimacy on appeals to the presence of members of different groups. However, they often do so without clear sources of authorisation and accountability from those represented. The representation of nonhumans and future generations in deliberative institutions is still more problematic. In the necessary absence of their authorisation, accountability, and presence, claims to speak on their behalf relies on epistemic claims, coupled with care. To highlight these problems is not to claim that small deliberative institutions are illegitimate but rather to point out the need for a clearer account of their role in democratic institutions and the proper sources of contestability of their outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • John O'Neill, 2001. "Representing People, Representing Nature, Representing the World," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 19(4), pages 483-500, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envirc:v:19:y:2001:i:4:p:483-500
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    Cited by:

    1. Gamboa, Gonzalo, 2006. "Social multi-criteria evaluation of different development scenarios of the Aysen region, Chile," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 157-170, August.
    2. Clive L. Spash, 2008. "Deliberative Monetary Valuation and the Evidence for a New Value Theory," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(3), pages 469-488.
    3. Garmendia, Eneko & Gamboa, Gonzalo, 2012. "Weighting social preferences in participatory multi-criteria evaluations: A case study on sustainable natural resource management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 110-120.

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