This synthesis paper argues that the practice of democratic mediation is an increasingly common, yet under-researched, component of engagements between citizens and public authorities across the globe. While the actors who mediate (and their tactics) are diverse and are not necessarily of the marginalised group, they share a commitment to overcoming representational, knowledge or ideological deficits in decision-making for the marginalised group. While the ‘speaking for ’ nature of democratic mediation clearly opens up critical legitimacy problems, the practice of democratic mediation appears to be remarkably common, and even effective.
L. Piper and B. von Lieres. Expert Advocacy for the Marginalised: How and Why Democratic Mediation Matters to Deepening Democracy in the Global South. IDS Working Paper No. 364. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK (2011) 43 pp. ISBN 978 1 85864 981 1