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This article proposes that the social contract is a trust-agreement of power because political organization implies a commission of confidence from the citizens to the authorities, through which they administer in their name public goods of diffuse ownership that belong to everyone but cannot be administered by everyone simultaneously, like it occurs in a private trust (where someone manages a patrimony for the benefit of another). From that relationship between governors and citizens arises a paradigm of duties and expectations –relative to that delegated confidence– that frame the fiduciary democracy. This is some sort of “improved representative democracy”, as it inscribes itself in the frame of the tradition of representative democracy of liberal and republican origin, but proposes certain mechanisms of direct democratic involvement –especially for the purpose of vertical accountability– that can make political representation more functional and coherent.


Paper presented at SELA 2013 in Cartagena de Indias as part of the session on “Democratic Legitimacy”