The latest issue of the The Journal of Political Philosophy (vol. 20 no. 1, 2012) is free online.
Stefan Rummers's article on "Staging Deliberation: The Role of Representative Institutions in the Deliberative Democratic Process" (pdf)
"The proper institutionalization of the ideal of deliberative democracy remains a contested issue. Whereas discourse theory conjures up the ideal of democracy as based on face-to-face interactions - modeled for instance in terms of an ideal speech situation which is inclusive, symmetrical and free from power - it is clear that this ideal cannot be realized in any straight-forward manner in the complex, large-scale and increasingly globalized societies of today. Consequently, alternative ways of realizing in practice the promise of a more radical and deliberative democracy have to be devised."
[....] "the present analysis of representative politics does not aim to discredit the use of fora or networks as such. It aims, rather, to provide a critical rejoinder to theorists who focus one-sidedly on fora and networks and downplay the role of representative institutions in their deliberative designs or dispense with them altogether."
Stefan Rummens is Associate Professor of Philosophy, Centre for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, University of Leuven, Belgium.