Introduction: Beyond Elections: Representation Circuits and Political Intermediation

  • Gisela Zaremberg
  • Adrián Gurza Lavalle
  • Valeria Guarneros-Meza
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


This introductory chapter offers a new conceptual framework based on the language of intermediation to highlight analytically new horizons of indirect politics whose range has usually been reduced to electoral representation. Without disregarding or detracting from this form of representation, the framework provides two main, new conceptual tools. First, a typological concept of “representation circuits” systematizes the heterogeneity of actors, repertories and rules as different channels of political intermediation. These can be present in the use of corporative negotiation, organizational participation, charismatic bonds between leaders and people, and technical-bureaucratic implementation. Second, considering the three most important dimensions in representation theory (authorization, accountability and representativeness) the “cube of political intermediation” (CPI) offers an analytical three-dimensional model in which it is possible to locate and compare different empirical cases of political intermediation. In sum, this chapter exposes crucial conceptual tools with which to analyse a wider repertoire of forms of intermediation for the access and defence of citizens’ rights and public services across time and space.


Civil Society Organization Representation Circuit Political Representation Electoral Representation Social Accountability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gisela Zaremberg
    • 1
  • Adrián Gurza Lavalle
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Valeria Guarneros-Meza
    • 5
  1. 1.Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO)Mexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Universidade de São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Center for Metropolitan Studies (CEM)São PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP)São PauloBrazil
  5. 5.De Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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