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Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values, Emerita
Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values


The article examines the sanctions model of principal-agent relations versus the selection model in which the principal and the agent share the same objectives in the absence of the principal's sanctions. According to the author, politicians, economists, and citizens demand increasing amounts of accountability and transparency thus routinely relying on the sanctions model. The selection model, which is a model where the representative's accountability to the constituent typically takes the form of either narrative or deliberative accountability, does not rely on monitoring or sanctions. An in-depth comparative analysis of how elections in a democracy are the main instruments for selection or sanction models, the benefits of both models, and why the two motivations are always mixed.


Mansbridge, Jane. "A 'Selection Model' of Political Representation." Journal of Political Philosophy 17.4 (December 2009): 369-398.