Cloven Citizenship in the Era of the Internet
The generally suspicious way in which democratic citizens tend to look at representation derives from the fact that, no matter how political representation is structured, it can greatly affect their lives. This is due to the fact that the decisions that result from the process of representation are engrafted in state institutions. Yet in politics, representation is not simply what representation does. The phenomenology of representation as the making of claims that represents what we are and want is an important part, although only one part, of the representative game. The other part is the process of decision-making that our electoral choices initiate. This chapter shows how the dual-face of representation displays different conceptions of democracy, which can be grouped in two broad procedural families, one more traditional and minimalist, and the other more deliberative. The parallel analysis of these two families introduces the chapter’s main argument: privileging representation as a practice of informal participation (claim-making in all its complexity) prefigures a kind of democratic citizenship that, thanks also to the internet, breaks down the diarchy of claim-making and decision-making, magnifying the mistaken belief that only the former consists of a more genuine, powerful and richer form of participation.
Keywords: theories of representation, will, judgment, internet