likely to reflect a particular national interest or bias but the views of

Likely to reflect a particular national interest or

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likely to reflect a particular national interest or bias, but the views of national courts, too, generally have the weight due to bodies of presumed independence, competence, impartiality, and authority." , the past two decades, and in particular they have led this representa- tion to acquire explicit political dimensions. Civil organizations who make the mediation argument affi rm their commitment to a mediating role that connects poorly or underrepresented segments of the population, on the one hand, to the state and, on the other, to electoral politics. What is being discussed therefore is an argument that situates civil organizations as a new form of mediation between representatives and those represented. Conclusion Innovative institutional spaces that bring civil organizations into the process of designing and supervizing public policy are expanding the boundaries of political representation beyond their original locus and functions, towards the executive. In São Paulo ordinary citizens are not, by and large, the principal protagonists in these new participatory spaces; but, rather, civil organizations legally invested as representatives of the social sectors envisaged by these policies have assumed this protagonism. Furthermore, it is the civil organizations that actively cultivate political support and build alliances with traditional political actors in order to carry out their objectives that take on the assumed representation of their public. Confi rming that civil organizations are playing a substantial role in the reconfi guration of representation in São Paulo does not say anything about the positive or negative consequences for political inclusion and the quality of democracy. These consequences depend, among other things, on the nature of the representativeness of civil organizations, and the extent to which notions of political representa- tion among these actors meet democratic requirements. The evidence examined here indicates that one should avoid constructing a single stylized model of representation by civil or- ganizations, as diverse models of representativeness are used in the public justifi cations of the authenticity of their assumed representation. Undoubtedly, a substantial number of organizations conceive the legitimacy of their representation in terms that have perverse con- sequences if they are projected into the political arena. Nevertheless, congruency arguments reconcilable with democratic requirements do exist and these are made by a majority of actors. Among these, the notion of representation we call mediation is explicitly political and Figure 3.2 Interconnections between Governments/IGOs, multinational firms and NGOs Source: Peter Willets, ‘Transnational Actors and International Organisations in Global Politics’ in The Globalisation of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, eds. John Baylis and Steve Smith, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 443.
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