The participatory governance structures that have emerged alongside more conventional institutions of representative democracy in Brazil and elsewhere encompass not only direct citizen participation but also participation by collective civil society actors, claiming to represent their respective 'publics'. In contrast to political parties and labour unions, most of these collective actors do not operate formal electoral mechanisms, nor are they membership based. The challenge they therefore face is how they can claim legitimately to exercise representative functions vis-a-vis the state. Empirical research in São Paulo suggests that new concepts of representation are emerging within participatory governance structures.
Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies, 2 pp.