Pipers Woerterbuch zur Politik

Authors: Nohlen
Summary: In approximately 1700 words the entry introduces representation as one of the essential political terms with a multiplicity of meanings, quotes extensively examples of definitions, reviews the history of parliamentary representation in the Western world, distinguishes between the role of a member of parliaments as delegate and trustee, and reviews some of the central texts on the concept. The entry demonstrates that representation is a term that is used in a multiplicity of meaning and has at least religious, psychological, sociological, judicial and statistical aspects. In a general sociological and political sense, representation refers to the situation in which a group is represented by a single person or small group. But in politics the representation of power, for example in the form of flags and buildings, is also relevant. Extensive quotes from Fraenkel and Pitkin further demonstrate the wide range of definitions that exist. Historically, the representation of the people by a sovereign monarch has been replaced - following the bourgeois revolutions - with the sovereign people electing their representatives in a representative system. The entry gives a detailed account of the respective stages and developments in England, France, America, and Germany. controversial until today is the character of role of the member of parliament, viewed by some as a trustee of her constituency's interests and needs, or as their delegate who gets told what position to take and is therefore not equipped with a free mandate. The entry ends with a brief summary of some of the major works in the theoretical study of representation.