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Gendering the European Parliament

Democratic Innovation and Theories of Political Representation

Panel Number
Panel Chair
Samuel Hayat
Institut d'Études Politiques de Lille
Panel Co-Chair
Charles Girard
Université Paris Sorbonne
Panel Discussant
Yves Sintomer
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

This panel aims to explore the relations between democratic innovation and the theories of representation. Whereas the effects of the deliberative turn on democratic innovation has been largely documented, we would like to assess the way theories of political representation have taken into account democratic innovation. Indeed, the conceptualisation of representation has known deep transformations these last two decades and now includes new themes: accountability, judgement, advocacy, minority rights, empowerment... To what extent are these changes linked with democratic innovation? How do theories of representation deal with the participatory devices that have been implemented in democracies? Conversely, to what extent do the changes in the theories of representation have an effect on innovative democratic devices? How is the language of representation used by the promoters of these devices, and the citizens that take part in them?

We would welcome contributions from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, especially – but not only – those which would address these issues:
1. Democratic innovation and the represented. How are democratic innovations taken into account in the descriptions of the activity of the represented between elections? Conversely, to what extent do the persons taking part in participative processes consider them as a means of control over their representatives?
2. Minority rights and representation. An important feature of democratic innovation is to guarantee that the voice of minorities and disadvantaged groups can be heard in political debate. Do theories of group representation consider democratic innovations as part of a politics of presence? In participatory devices, do citizens that belong to minorities speak in the name of their group?
3. Social movements and representation. If we consider that social movements have fostered the emergence of bottom-up democratic innovations, how are they taken into account by new theories of representation? Is the language of representation important in these devices?

Paper List

Title Details
Are People with Disabilities a “Minority Group”? Representativeness and Participation in Public Policies View Paper Details
Democracy in Search of Political Equality: Which Kind of ‘Political Representation’? View Paper Details
Innovation and Representation: On the Relationship Between Open Definitions and Defining Properties of Democracy View Paper Details
The Renewal of the Representative Link: Insights from Political Theory View Paper Details
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