From estate representation to the representation of the people and the nation in the Age of Revolutions
Ihalainen, P., & Haaparinne, Z. (2020). From estate representation to the representation of the people and the nation in the Age of Revolutions. In M. Cotta, & F. Russo (Eds.), Research Handbook on Political Representation (pp. 84-97). Edward Elgar. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788977098.00014
© Maurizio Cotta and Federico Russo 2020
In the Age of Revolutions, the legitimacy of political rule was increasingly derived in Western countries from popular sovereignty realised through parliamentary representation. This chapter analyses how the members of the representative institutions in Britain, France and Sweden attempted to solve tensions between popular sovereignty and representation during a revolutionary or evolutionary transition from the early modern representation of the interests of estates by delegates to the representation of the people by individual members. We also consider the American, Dutch and German assemblies and transnational interaction between political cultures. Tensions between the concepts of representation and democracy in the realization of popular sovereignty contributed to the contestability of representation in later times, representation remaining a rhetorical concept with which parliamentary government can be both legitimized and delegitimized.
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