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ECPR Standing Group on the European Union 10th Biennial Conference LUISS, Rome

Global Perspectives on Representation

Comparative Politics
Political Participation
Political Theory
Political Sociology
Section Number
Section Chair
Samuel Hayat
Institut d'Études Politiques de Lille
Section Co-Chair
Petra Guasti
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

Today, the system of electoral democracy is under considerable strain around the world. Symptoms of this process – declining trust in formal institutions, decreasing party-affiliation, and increasing the fluidity of party systems all hint towards a fractured relationship between citizens and their representatives and exemplify (some of the) challenges to the existing system of representative democracy.

Representative institutions increasingly struggle to generate the degree of legitimacy required for effective democratic decision-making and implementation. Many citizens no longer feel that elections and political parties are adequate institutions to ensure representation. The increasing difficulties of political parties and elected representatives to maintain their monopoly on (formal) political representation may mean that democracy appears to be losing its primary legitimating anchor.

Representative democracy is not over, and most likely not the end of history. Western (consolidated) democracies are undergoing processes of significant political transformation, and democracies of the Global South, no longer merely duplicate established Western models. At the same time, a multitude of old and new claim-makers generates a cacophony of representative claims. It is no longer evident who speaks for whom and why s/he is entitled to do so. A new conceptual and analytical frame is necessary to conceptualize, to capture and to compare representation nationally, transnationally and globally.

The main aim of this Section is to examine the changes in the study of political representation by focusing on the roles of actors (political parties, civil society), institutions (representative, participative and deliberative bodies) and legacies (historical and global trajectories) on political representation. This Section presents contributions by scholars working on electoral and non-electoral forms of representation, Papers will address theoretical aspects of political representation, as well as the measurement and analysis of these phenomena. Papers will focus on both symptoms of the ‘crisis of representative democracy' and the possible ‘solutions'.

Panel List

Code Title Details
P258Lying, Deception and Post-Truth and the Ethics of Representation View Panel Details
P316Performance, Protest and Presence View Panel Details
P374Reclaiming Representation in Global Perspective View Panel Details
P393Representative Claim as a Theoretical Concept View Panel Details
P394Representative Claims in History View Panel Details
P475The Politics of Representation: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Findings on the Struggle About Representation View Panel Details
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