ADVANTAGES

While it is clear that representative institutions are vitalinstitutional components of democratic institutions, much more needsto be said about the meaning of democratic representation. Inparticular, it is important not to presume that all acts ofrepresentation are equally democratic. After all, not all acts ofrepresentation within a representative democracy are necessarilyinstances of democratic representation. Henry Richardson (2002) hasexplored the undemocratic ways that members of the bureaucracy canrepresent citizens. [For a more detailed discussion of non-democraticforms of representation, see Apter (1968). Michael Saward (2008) alsodiscusses how existing systems of political representation do notnecessarily serve democracy.] Similarly, it is unclear whether arepresentative who actively seeks to dismantle democratic institutionsis representing democratically. Does democratic representation requirerepresentatives to advance the preferences of democratic citizens ordoes it require a commitment to democratic institutions? At thispoint, answers to such questions are unclear. What is certain is thatdemocratic citizens are likely to disagree about what constitutesdemocratic representation.

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