Examine the issue of representation in democracy

 Q.9 Examine the issue of representation in democracy.


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.