Abelian Group Theory. Proc. conf. Honolulu, 1983 by R. Göbel, L. Lady, A. Mader

By R. Göbel, L. Lady, A. Mader

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While my study draws on the insights of these important bodies of work, it also reorients traditional questions about political representation by moving away from the typical focus on elected officials, concentrating instead on organizations that represent marginalized groups in national politics. The book also tries to refocus our expectations about what constitutes “good” representation by engaging Melissa Williams’ (1998) evocative conception of representatives as mediators. Williams argues that representation is most centrally a form of mediation in which representatives intercede on behalf of their constituents’ interests in the state’s policies and actions.

Median Members | In his classic book, Anthony Downs argues that political parties and candidates choose policy positions that appeal to the “median voter” in order to maximize the number of voters casting ballots for them closer to a pluralist heaven? · 21 (see also Black 1948). ” As a consequence, interest groups are likely to ignore targeted issues affecting numerically small subgroups—whether weak or strong—in favor of issues that have a wide impact and that affect their median member. Similarly, in order to avoid alienating allies, contributors, members, and potential members, organizations avoid issues that are unpopular or controversial among their members or the public, as are many of the issues affecting disadvantaged groups (Kollman 1998; Rothenberg 1992; M.

Policies affecting disadvantaged subgroups are often politically salient or high on the policy agenda, but when they are, they are almost by definition political “losers” (if they were not, these subgroups would no longer be quite so disadvantaged), so pursuing the interests of such subgroups on these issues is rarely a surefire route to policy success. Niches | In line with these strategic rationales, the niche theories of William Browne (1990) and Virginia Gray and David Lowery (1996) suggest another set of reasons that organizations will not be very active on behalf of disadvantaged subgroups of their constituencies.

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