Towards Understanding Political Representation as an Ecology: Reconfiguring Approaches to Democratic Legitimacy
The constructivist turn in political representation significantly broadened our understanding of who may qualify as representative. Yet in doing so, constructivism also complicates our ability to make normative assessments concerning the democratic legitimacy of all these representatives. I argue that a constructivist approach does not necessarily obstruct making normative assessments, but that it warrants an alternative approach. To this end, I propose to allow for a plurality of democratically legitimate representatives, and explore how this shifts our understanding of democratic representation. I work towards an understanding of political representation as ecological network’, which is able to recognise a plurality of legitimate representatives. Ultimately, I argue that this plurality is beneficial to a democratic politics, rather than a danger to it.
Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen