Representation

Representation

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What is representation? What does it mean when a politician represents citizens in government? How can citizens be represented beyond the boundaries of the nation-state?
These are just some of the questions which will be answered by David Runciman and Monica Brito Vieira as they explain why representation should be understood as one of the key concepts in modern politics. The first part of the book examines the historical roots of the concept of representation, from its origins in ancient Rome through to its role in the revolutionary politics of the modern world. The second looks at different varieties of representation in law as well as politics. The final part asks how the concept of representation can help us think creatively about current and future challenges facing the world.
Representation is too often treated as a secondary or qualifying idea as in the phrase representative democracy . This book argues that we have this the wrong way round. Representation is the foundational idea in almost all areas of our political life. Making sense of representation in its own terms is crucial for seeing why democracy functions the way it does, and for exploring how it might function differently.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 136 x 212 x 20mm | 381.02g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 0745641601
  • 9780745641607
  • 494,955

Back cover copy

What is representation? What does it mean when a politicianrepresents citizens in government? How can citizens be representedbeyond the boundaries of the nation-state?

These are just some of the questions which will be answered byDavid Runciman and Mónica Brito Vieira as they explain whyrepresentation should be understood as one of the key concepts inmodern politics. The first part of the book examines the historicalroots of the concept of representation, from its origins in ancientRome through to its role in the revolutionary politics of themodern world. The second looks at different varieties ofrepresentation - in law as well as politics. The final partasks how the concept of representation can help us think creativelyabout current and future challenges facing the world.

Representation is too often treated as a secondary or qualifyingidea - as in the phrase 'representativedemocracy'. This book argues that we have this the wrong wayround. Representation is the foundational idea in almost all areasof our political life. Making sense of representation in its ownterms is crucial for seeing why democracy functions the way itdoes, and for exploring how it might function differently.
show more

Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables vi
Preface vii
Part I The History of Representation 1
1 The Roots of Political Representation 3
2 Representation vs. Democracy 29
Part II The Logic of Representation 63
3 Representing Individuals 65
4 Representing Groups 84
Part III The Politics of Representation 121
5 Representing the State 123
6 Representation Beyond the Nation-State 149
Epilogue: Representing the Future? 182
References 193
Index 207
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Review Text

"Runciman and Vieira track the history of the idea ofrepresentation, break apart the complex of themes that it encodes,and reveal some salient lessons for the internal and externalorganization of states. This is rich, intriguing and importantstuff - political theory at its best."
Philip Pettit, Princeton University

"The authors succeed splendidly in their admirableambition to survey the past, present and future of the concept ofrepresentation in a manner that is at once accessible and original,giving both neophyte and expert plenty to think about."
Richard Bellamy, University College London
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Review quote

"Runciman and Vieira track the history of the idea of representation, break apart the complex of themes that it encodes, and reveal some salient lessons for the internal and external organization of states. This is rich, intriguing and important stuff - political theory at its best." Philip Pettit, Princeton University "The authors succeed splendidly in their admirable ambition to survey the past, present and future of the concept of representation in a manner that is at once accessible and original, giving both neophyte and expert plenty to think about." Richard Bellamy, University College London
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About David Runciman

David Runciman is University Lecturer in Political Theory at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

Monica Brito Vieira is Research Fellow at New Hall, Cambridge.
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