This book deals with political representation as a way for democracy to constantly recreate itself and improve. I have benefited from the opportunity to present parts of this work at conferences and seminars, and in particular the international conference “Rethinking State and Popular Sovereignty,” organized by Jean L. Cohen at Columbia University in October 2003; the Political Thought Conference held at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, in January 2004; the 2002, 2004, and 2005 annual meetings of the American Political Science Association; the 2005 meeting of the Midwestern Political Science Association; and moreover the Columbia University Seminar in Political and Social Thought, the Columbia Colloquium in Political Theory, the Political Philosophy Colloquium at Princeton University, the Political Theory Seminar at New York University, the Colloquio di Filosofia e Scienze Sociali at the University of Milano-Bicocca, the Seminario Permanente di Teoria Politica at the University of Pavia, and Harvard's Political Theory Colloquium.
I would like to thank the chairs and participants of these discussions, and especially Marina Calloni, Ian Carter, Dario Castiglione, Simone Chambers, Jean L. Cohen, Joshua Cohen, Julian Franklin, Jeremy Jennings, David Johnston, Ira Katznelson, Stephen Macedo, Bernard Manin, Joseph McCormick, Russell Muirhead, Pasquale Pasquino, Philip Pettit, Andrew Rehfeld, Melvin Richter, Tracy Strong, Dana Villa, Jeremy Waldron, and Robert Wokler. Friends, colleagues, and students have read portions of the manuscript or discussed with me issues and ideas (p.xii) expressed here, offering illuminating suggestions. I owe my debt to Andrew Arato, Seyla Benhabib, Jean L. Cohen, Jon Elster, John Ferejohn, Roberto Gargarella, Alex Gourevitch, Stephen Holmes, Andreas Kalyvas, George Kateb, Steven Lukes, Bernard Manin, Bajeera McCorkle, Fernanda Mazzanti Pepe, Reidar Maliks, Russell Muirhead, Pierre Rosanvallon, Giovanni Sartori, Quentin Skinner, Michel Troper, Salvatore Veca, Jeremy Waldron, Mark Warren, Linda Zerilli, and Ian Zuckerman. Katherine Pettus helped me enormously in improving the style of my writing.