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Representative DemocracyPrinciples and Genealogy$
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Nadia Urbinati

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226842783

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226842806.001.0001

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: Representation and Democracy

: Representation and Democracy

(p.17) One: Representation and Democracy
Representative Democracy
University of Chicago Press

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

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