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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

Representative Democracy

Andreas Kulick

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 November 2020

Subject(s):
Electoral rules and regulations — Plurality majority — Direct democracy — Representative democracy

Published under the direction of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.
General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Representation constitutes a paradox (Pitkin 8–9). Simultaneously, it denotes a presence and an absence (Brito Vieira and Runciman 4–5). Re-presenting something (or someone) makes something present that however is not actually present. In this sense, representative democracy displays a double paradox. It adds to the paradox of representation a further paradox pertaining to the relationship of representation and democracy. If the people do not rule directly (direct democracy) but through elected representatives, the institutions that are necessary to establish...
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