: Representation and Democracy

in Representative Democracy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780226842783
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226842806 | DOI:
: Representation and Democracy

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This chapter sets out the normative guidelines of a democratic theory of representative government, which the ensuing chapters are meant to elucidate. It argues that democratic representation presumes a revision of the notions of both representation and sovereignty. As for the former, the chapter makes three main claims: that representation belongs to the history and practice of democratization; that different theories of representation are possible depending on the relationship between state and society; and that the political theory of representation is consistent with a democratic relation between state and society. As for the latter, it is argued that representation challenges the idea of sovereignty as unrepresentable will by bringing judgment into the politics of the sovereign; this revision is visible through representativity and advocacy, the two basic characters of democratic representation. These are the normative guidelines of representative democracy as an articulated strategy of law formation and surveillance and revocation, and of democratic representation as a middle path between an unconditional delegation and the refusal of any delegation, or between electoral authorization of an aristocracy and direct democracy.

Keywords: democratic theory; representative government; democratic representation; sovereignty

Chapter.  18177 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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