Process of accommodating different needs and viewpoints


The autonomy of the representative is preserved by allowing them to make decisions based on his or her understanding of the represented’s interests (the trustee conception of representation).

The autonomy of those being represented is preserved by having the preferences of the represented influence evaluations of representatives (the delegate conception of representation).

You choose a member, indeed; but when you have chosen him he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of Parliament (115).

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These advances point to new forms of political representation, ones that are not limited to the relationship between formal representatives and their constituents.

The third goal is to reveal several persistent problems with theories of political representation and thereby to propose some future areas of research.

For it leaves the concept of political representation underspecified.

Indeed, as we will see, the concept of political representation has multiple and competing dimensions: our common understanding of political representation is one that contains different, and conflicting, conceptions of how political representatives should represent and so holds representatives to standards that are mutually incompatible.

Representatives must act in ways that safeguard the capacity of the represented to authorize and to hold their representatives accountable uphold the capacity of the representative to act independently of the wishes of the represented.