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Foundations of European PoliticsA Comparative Approach

Foundations of European Politics: A Comparative Approach (1st edn)

Catherine E. De Vries, Sara B. Hobolt, Sven-Oliver Proksch, and Jonathan B. Slapin
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date: 14 July 2024

p. 1127. Representationlocked

p. 1127. Representationlocked

  • Catherine E. De Vries,
  • Sara B. Hobolt,
  • Sven-Oliver Proksch
  •  and Jonathan B. Slapin


This chapter addresses the various concepts of political representation, such as substantive, descriptive, and symbolic. It then examines which institutions foster different types of representation. It presents two different visions of democracy: proportional and majoritarian. It considers what they imply for congruence and responsiveness. The chapter delves deeper into descriptive representation by looking at the representation of women across legislatures. When considering symbolic representation it looks at action taken by members of parliament. The chapter asks the basic question: to what extent, and in what ways, does a political system represent its citizens?

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