By Wendell John Coats Jr.

This publication is a suite of 4 essays and shorter items which are associated with the subject matter of Republican personality in addition to masking such varied themes as liberal arts eduction and American safeguard coverage.

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Obvious examples include the way people feel a sense of validation and identification when their soldiers perform various missions, peaceful or otherwise; or if a person they feel symbolizes them—a local sport star, a well-loved civic leader—is seen to have had an impact on issues which matter to them. Despite its usefulness for legitimation, however, symbolic representation does not help us with making more substantive or procedural legitimacy claims, because there are no direct ties of accountability between such representatives and the people they represent.

I am not convinced that legitimacy can be so easily disconnected from headcounts. First of all, discourses are not themselves disconnected from people; they are partially constitutive of identities on the one hand, and are tools which reflective people use to achieve their goals. For any given public conversation, real people have a stake in seeing a given discourse victorious in the contest in the public sphere and, although they may not think of it in these terms, may undertake strategic action (which is by definition not deliberative action) to achieve those goals.

3 The legitimacy of representation The idea of representation is useful because it offers a way out of the scale problem: it may be that people who are not physically present in a given deliberative forum may nonetheless feel they have had their voices heard because their representatives have spoken for them. However, I have also argued above that representatives can only legitimately act for others if they are authorized by and accountable to followers. This insistence on accountability and authorization creates some real problems for policy actors trying to use deliberative techniques, and in this section I explore those tensions, along with issues connected with other ways of thinking about representation.

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