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The "aspirational" ideal in democracy is citizen authorship of the laws. That ideal at its fullest is unachievable even in direct democracies, and of course in representative democracies. Yet representative democracies can approach this ideal to greater or lesser degrees. Among other mechanisms, "recursive" representation, in which representatives are to some degree in ongoing mutually responsive contact with their constituents, moves representative systems closer to the ideal.


Mansbridge, Jane. "Representation Failure." Democratic Failure, NOMOS LXIII. Ed. Melissa Schwartzberg and Daniel Viehoff. New York University Press, 2020, 101-140.