How can non-elected representatives secure democratic representation?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonPolicy & Politics. 2022, 1-18. 10.1332/030557321X16371011677734
Research on the democratic legitimacy of non-elected actors influencing policy while acting as representatives is often lacking in governance literature, despite being increasingly relevant worldwide. Recent theories of representation argue that there are non-electoral mechanisms to appoint such non-elected representatives and hold them responsible for their actions. Consequently, democratic non-electoral representation can be achieved. Through empirical analysis, this article explores democratic non-electoral representation in governance networks by comparing how non-elected representatives, their constituents and the decision-making audience understand the outcome of representation to benefit the constituency, authorisation and accountability. The research findings conclude that all three groups mostly share the understanding of democratic non-electoral representation as ongoing interactions between representatives and constituents, multiple (if any) organisational and discursive sources of authorisation and deliberative aspects of accountability. All of these are non-electoral mechanisms that secure democratic representation. These findings make an important contribution to the literature on non-electoral representation in policymaking.