Power and Representation
19 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009 Last revised: 10 Sep 2009
Date Written: 2009
Challenged by participatory and deliberative models of democracy, contemporary political theory has brought the concept of representation back to the fore. Once applied to the democratic experiences of contemporary societies, political representation requires a conceptual reevaluation that undermines the notions of authorization and delegation that have been central to its definition since the seventeenth century’s social contract tradition, and the hobbesian approach to sovereignty that has shaped the modern understanding of political power. This paper takes issue with the current debate on political representation, addressing the question of how its conceptual redefinition and empirical applications also implies a reformulation of the notion of power.
Keywords: Representation, Democracy, Power
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