About 项目介绍

Europe currently experiences a crisis of established forms of political representation, visible for example in increasing political distrust. Various claims to renew political representation are emerging all over the world. However, most contemporary research on representation focuses on electoral/mandate representation within single countries. As a result, we lack a comparative, global analysis of (new) representative claims developed outside the representative political system; and dynamics developing in the Global South, including non-democratic entities, are neglected by Western scholars. Our research intends to address these gaps by putting into perspective representative claims in France and Germany –two leading democracies in Europe actively experimenting with new concepts of representation–, and in three BRICS states: Brazil –the largest democracy in Latin America with innovative participatory devices including competing representative claims–, India –the world’s largest democracy and a pioneer in electoral quotas (as a claim for descriptive representation)– and China – a non-democratic regime engaged in a huge transformation with specific representative claims.

Building on German and French political theory, our conceptual framework departs from standard ways of considering political representation in the context of electoral and mandate claims (e.g. Pitkin). We argue that while mandate representation remains important, it fails to account for crucial contemporary developments. Our premise is that political representation is increasingly related to the (re)emergence of new representative claims, i.e. situations in which an actor claims to speak/act in the name of others. Such claims are most often based on the denunciation of misrepresentation, which they pretend to correct. However, in spite of the increasing variety of representative claims around the world, a comprehensive conceptual framework and a typology allowing a deeper understanding of these claims are missing and we will address this conceptual gap.

In the five countries under scrutiny, we will identify different situations in which (seemingly) new representative claims are raised, criticized or justified. Proceeding through a carefully designed common methodological framework, our research will pursue the objective of analyzing developments of representative claims from a global, transnational perspective. To reach this objective we focus on two research fields. We analyze: (i) representative claims at the national level (national parliaments and media) raised during three national debates in each country; (ii) representative claims raised in three participatory devices at the subnational level in each country. At both levels representative claims are justified with alleged misrepresentation of certain groups/individuals within the given representative bodies. We will rest on qualitative methods for data collection and apply the adjusted Representative Claim Analysis for data analyses. To scale up our findings, we will follow the “case-thinking” approach, identify patterns of representative claims, develop a typology which can be applied for “terminological, classificatory and heuristic means’ (Weber 1921), and theorize the findings in the context of modern democratic theory.

政治代表制度的已经稳定立足的形式目前处于危机之中,比如表现在不断降低的信任上。同时,在世界范围内形成了对政治代表制度的(新)诉求。可是,相关的研究依然广泛地集中在选举(授权)以及个别的国家。其结果是,我们还缺乏对政治代表制度的新诉求的比较和全球视野的广泛分析。我们这项研究计划就是致力于填补这个空白。为此,我们的研究将把焦点放到下述五个国家:第一,法国和德国这两个在欧盟据领导地位的,目前积极实验新的代表制度的民主国家;第二,三个金砖国家:巴西、印度和中国。巴西是拉丁美洲最大的民主国家,拥有创新的参与式程序,对政治代表制度的诉求方面形成了竞争;印度是世界最大的民主国家,是(选举)比例制调节领域的先行者;而中国呢,是个专制政体,可是却有着特殊的对政治代表制度的诉求。

我们将从比较和全球视野对这五个国家的政治代表制度的诉求进行辩认、分析和类型化。在此,我们的研究集中在下述两个领域:公众关于国家这一级的政治代表制度(全国议会和媒体)的诉求的讨论;政治代表制度的诉求在地方一级的参与程序。我们的研究主要建立在对数据(文献和网页的浏览,参与性的观察,专家访谈等等)的定量分析上,而数据的分析依据“政治代表制度的诉求分析”的扩大化方法。为概括案列分析,我们运用“案例思考”的方式。我们将辨认政治代表制度的诉求的模式和类型──这有利于“术语式,分类式和启发式方法”(韦伯,1921年),并继续发展政治代表制度的理论。