Democratic reforms have produced new spaces in which civil organisations
engage in representation of sectors of the population. The forms of
political representation practised by civil society (collective) actors
such as NGOs, neighbourhood and community associations and non-profit
service providers, differ from more conventional forms of representation
thus destabilising long-standing ideas about democratic legitimacy.
Research conducted in Brazil by the Centre for the Future State explored
the range of concepts of representation that civil organisations use to
justify their roles. Promisingly, the most common form of representation
claimed by civil organisations, that of 'mediation', is the most
compatible with democratic norms and existing, more conventional,
Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK, 4 pp.
Political representation by civil society.