This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Concept Of Political Representation Essay

2773 words - 12 pages

In “Political Representation,” Shapiro et al. (2009) say that “political representation lies at the core of modern politics.” Representation is usually linked to the concept of democracy (Shapiro et al. 2009). The concept of representation is explicitly mentioned in the U.S. Constitution (U.S. Const. art. I, § 1, 2). However, the meaning and appropriate form of “representation” have been debated by political theorists and philosophers for centuries. The definition of representation one chooses to use is influenced by the form of representation one finds most appropriate. Given the different forms of representation, legislators can be responsive in different ways. Representation also operates at two different levels – the national and local level. This answer will explore the concept of “representation,” the different forms it can take, and how it is practiced, as well as the potential for future research on representation.
“Representation” can be defined in many ways. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, representation is “a method or process of enabling a constituency to influence legislation and government policy through deputies chosen by it.” According to the Oxford Dictionary, “representation” is the act of speaking or acting on behalf of someone. Some early philosophers and political theorists who wrote about representation include Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Thomas Hobbes discussed the concept of “implied agreement” in his book, Leviathan, in 1651. He argued that people agreed to give absolute power to a sovereign, who would then be responsible for making and enforcing laws in order to ensure a peaceful society (Hobbes 1996). Hanna Pitkin (1967) stated in her work that Hobbes clarified the central feature of modern representation – the “authorization” or “substantive” concept of representation, which views political representation as “acting for” the constituency. She claimed that this view of representation was not viable because it ignored the possibility that individuals may not approve of the representative’s actions. David Runciman also discussed Hobbes’ theory of implied agreement and argued that the theory of representation put forth in Leviathan viewed authorization and representation as two separate activities – the sovereign was given the authorization to act by individuals, but once authorized, represented not only those who authorized him but the collective body of all citizens as well (Shapiro et al. 2009). According to this view, the representative represents the interests of the state, not the individual, and a discrepancy between the constituency’s preferences and the representative’s actions is not problematic, because the representative does not directly represent the views of the individuals who elected him (Shapiro et al. 2009).
In Two Treatises of Government, John Locke (1823) argued that natural rights such as life, liberty and property could not be taken or given away by...

Find Another Essay On The Concept of Political Representation

Discuss the concept of Digital Activism and the socio-political role of the individual in today’s Postmodern Global Village

1214 words - 5 pages Introduction The idea behind Digital activism is to bring about social and political change to the global village through social media (MacManus, R., 8 March 2010, Digital Activism: An Interview with Mary Joyce, viewed 14 April 2014, from http://readwrite.com/2010/03/08/ digital_activism_an_interview_with_mary_joyce#awesm=~oEJRkhyhp0fxQ9). The digital activism equation consists of the following: Goal of Political and Social change + Digital

The Concept Of Digital Activism and the Socio-Political Role of an Individual in today's Postmodern Global Village

1370 words - 6 pages influence on people as they can either make or break laws in order for everyone to develop a voice. It enables the majority of the population to become involved as it creates a sense of normality which is defined by the majority of the population. The concept digital activism and the socio-political role of an individual today have a major impact on our world. Individuals now have access to the “uncontrollable” internet which enables them to

The Concept of Identity

2426 words - 10 pages concept centered on the sharing of norms, values belief, cultural symbols and practices. The formation of ‘ethnic groups’ relies on shared cultural signifiers that have developed under specific historical, social and political context. It is the process by which ‘their’ difference is used to enhance the sense of purpose of organization or identification. Whereas race bears the traces of its origins in the biological discourses of social Darwinism

The concept of mimesis

1432 words - 6 pages The idea of mimesis is that a certain medium is a representation of reality. The concept of mimesis extends to art, media, and other texts. Mimesis also creates a sense of false reality, as often the art appears and is can be taken as real as the real world. In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the concept of mimesis is explained and through analysis of the novel and several other pieces of work can the implications and effects of mimesis be grasped

The concept of Prejudice

811 words - 3 pages Prejudice can be defined in one of several ways. There is an intellectual as well as a behavioral aspect to the concept of prejudice. Prejudice encompasses negative thoughts and feelings that a person has toward another person. Thoughts and feelings linked to prejudice are generally not based upon the experience the individual, but rather the prevailing thoughts and attitudes of the society within which the individual has been socialized. These

The Concept of Freedom

1206 words - 5 pages Dictionary was given prior, was due to its broadness; making it a more well-suited definition to describe the concept of freedom. In analyzing freedom, similar words will be discussed, freedom’s characteristics described, and examples given, in order to illustrate the word and some of its many uses. When observing words considered synonymous with freedom, such as liberty, right, ability, privilege, unrestraint, and so forth, it can quickly be

The Concept of Power

1627 words - 7 pages cooperate with another country’s agenda. Cutting off commerce with a nation would hurt both sides, but if one economy is stronger than the other, it could pressure the other country to be more cooperative. The United States uses its power to influence nations through economic and political means. Such power relies on the fact that the United States has a major role in controlling the free market because of the high numbers of exports. For

The Concept of Intelligence

3430 words - 14 pages The Concept of Intelligence ABSTRACT: Gilbert Ryle’s dispositional analysis of the concept of intelligence makes the error of assimilating intelligence to the category of dispositional or semi-dispositional concepts. Far from being a dispositional concept, intelligence is an episodic concept that refers neither to dispositions nor to ‘knowing how,’ but to a fashion or style of proceeding whose significance is adverbial. Being derivative

Concept of the Automobile

646 words - 3 pages The invention of the automobile has been one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century. To mankind, it has been a definitive icon of independence and personal freedom. But with the birth of the automobile now comes the beginning of the concept vehicle.The invention started with the Tin Lizzies in the 1900's. Vehicles in the early days were produced to look the same. These vehicles looked like a box on wheels, similar to a horseless

The Concept of Beauty

971 words - 4 pages Throughout history beauty has remained a prevalent and dominate role in society. People, especially women, have strived to replicate society’s ideas of utmost beauty. Although today might be considered the age of materialistic beauty every era each had its one definition of beauty and created products and accessories to adorn themselves with. Every age is impacted by the idealistic concept of beauty. During the periods of 5000 BCE and 1500 AD

The concept of reflexivity

2375 words - 10 pages Seifeldin Soliman Advanced Writing in Disciplines Final DraftUnit Four: Investigating learning transfer: Reflexivity in actionAn Essential ReflectionDear Professor Noonan,The most challenging aspect of this project was understanding the concept of reflexivity. Qualley's passage explaining the concept guided me through what it was exactly. Although I wasn't well acquainted with the concept at first, I quickly realized that there were many

Similar Essays

The Weakening Of Representation And Policy Making: The Downfall Of Political Parties

1512 words - 6 pages "It's a reflection of the political dynamic in America, where we don't look at America as a whole. We look at it through the red and blue prism” (Taylor, 1). The red and blue prism that Senator Olympia Snowe is referring to is the political parties that function in the United States. The current existence of political parties in America is a hindrance to effective representation of the people. Because of the lack of bipartisanship between the

Representation Of The Indigenous Essay

2885 words - 12 pages genre, to the post-modern state of contemporary ethnographic documentary film today that attempts to tackle the reoccurring and persistent questions regarding the reality of tribal life and the representation of the indigenous person. The concept of representation is valuable when looking at the depiction of indigenous people as in both cases Robert Flaherty and Bruce Parry seek to depict a certain level of truth regarding the realities and major

The Representation Of The Media Essay

1891 words - 8 pages concentrating on the sexual element, a team member being dropped from the team because she wasn't gay, gives the story new light and appeal to ratings. Already we can see how the representation of the truth has been altered to create good ratings, adding a sex scandal instead of reporting a possible truth that she was dropped for bad form.Now, further misrepresentation of the truth can be seen in the techniques used by Brooke in her interviews. Frontline

Representation Of The Green Knight Essay

813 words - 4 pages showers on the fair plains” This describes the effects of the Green Knight’s sacrifice. His death allowed the winter to pass, and plants to continue growing as usual. The relations between the “Holly God” and the Green Knight clearly symbolize the importance of their sacrifice. Without it, the season’s would not be able to run as normal. The Pearl Poet’s description of the antagonist, the Green Knight, clearly shows the representation of the