1932

Abstract

In this review, we focus on political inequality in rich democracies. In the two main sections, we look at participation and representation, respectively. The former discusses whether rising income inequality and the weakening of trade unions have led to higher levels of inequality in participation. The latter looks at substantive and descriptive representation and asks how they might be linked. Research highlights that people with fewer individual resources participate much less than those with more resources, and collective organizations lose their ability to counter these trends. In terms of representation, the pattern is very similar. Not only are the opinions of decision-makers more congruent with those of the better off but policy choices also reflect their preferences more clearly. As the social distance between rulers and ruled increases, representative democracy gets more biased in favor of higher-status social groups.

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2023-06-15
2024-06-19
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