Representation is Democracy

Constellations 4 (1):19-34 (1997)
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During the Cold War, arguments about representation were a significant part of international debates about democracy. Proponents of minimal democracy dominated these arguments, and their thin notions of representation became political common sense. I propose a view of representation that differs from the main views advocated during the Cold War. Representation has a central positive role in democratic politics: I gain political representation when my authorized representative tries to achieve my political aims, subject to dialogue about those aims and to the use of mutually acceptable procedures for gaining them. Thus the opposite of representation is not participation. The opposite of representation is exclusion – and the opposite of participation is abstention. Rather than opposing participation to representation, we should try to improve representative practices and forms to make them more open, effective, and fair



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Citations of this work

Survey Article: Citizen Panels and the Concept of Representation.Mark B. Brown - 2006 - Journal of Political Philosophy 14 (2):203-225.
The collective responsibility of democratic publics.Avia Pasternak - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):99-123.
On Representing.Andrew Rehfeld - 2018 - Journal of Political Philosophy 26 (2):216-239.
The Collective Responsibility of Democratic Publics.Avia Pasternak - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):99-123.

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