This book addresses what is called the "crisis of representation". Parting from the idea that this is a rhetorical issue, it attempts to shed light on the truth of representative systems.
Political representation was, at its origins, the invention of a commonwealth unlike any that had preceded it. It is for this reason that critiques of representation referring to the reality of the common people, and to "proper representation" have always existed and can be understood in light of three grand suppositions relative to "real" people: substantial unity, betrayed by artificial political division, diversity of opinion, artificially reduced due to representation, and "real" majorities.
Based on the French case, this work analyzes the critiques which arose during four different eras of the French parliamentary tradition, investigating the persistence of the contemporary "crisis of representation," even as the economics of the system of representation has been transformed by political parties and, in particular, the advent of the majority phenomenon. At the end of the day, individuals do not see themselves reflected in the representation which in theory comes from them, due to the vagueness of purpose peculiar to contemporary democracy. The "crisis of representation," thus, is ultimately confused with politics itself in a regime of modernity.
Didier Mineur is an accomplished philosophy scholar and holds a doctorate in political science. His publications focus on political philosophy and legal theory. He teaches at Sciences Po Paris.