Democrazia e rappresentanza politica. Un’alleanza sempre più incerta?

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The aim of this paper is to elaborate a framework on the political theory debate about political representation starting from the classical Hanna Pitkin’s book “The Concept of Representation”. After many years from its publication (1967), this book is now translated in Italian and this occasion encourages a reflection to rethink the relationship between representation and democracy. The core of the paper is a critical review of the principal points of Pitkin’s work, that, as know, provides a systematic frame of the position of many authors (like Hobbes, Voegelin, Weber) on political (and interests’) representation. Pitkin suggests to adopt two German words – vertreten (act for) and darstellen (stand for) – with the ambition of providing an explanatory model that goes beyond the limits of formal interpretations of representation; although, in any case, there is a “continuous tension” between ideal and practical achievement on the concept of political representation. In the last decades, the emerge of presidentialization of leadership, the new role of media in the political scenario and, mainly, the importance of informal elements of representation are all components that suggest to overcome the Pitkin’s thought. For many aspects, this conclusion is right, but the emphasis placed by “The Concept of Representation” on the “mutual independence” between representatives and voters is a crucial point, that is still valid for any reflections of representation. At the end, the paper points out three problematic issues for political theory related to the relationship between democracy and representation: the function of elections, the mandate-independence controversy and the process of disintermediation.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] Democracy and political representation. An increasingly uncertain alliance?
Lingua originaleItalian
pagine (da-a)385-400
Numero di pagine16
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • representation, democracy, elections, mandate-independence controversy, disintermediation


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