Towards a Polysemyc Theory of Democratic Representation.
What is democratic representation? Despite its common usage in the academic literature and in the public debate, there is no agreement on the definition of democratic representation. Yet, in the literature on this issue, there has been a dominant tendency of searching for more or less specific normative definitions of democratic representation that stress some meanings of representation and exclude others. Little research has been devoted to the semantic and linguistic implications of the history of the word representation for political and democratic representation. To fill this gap in the literature, this proposal looks at representation as a polysemyc notion and approaches it as a semantic-linguistic prior than a conceptual problem. Mapping out the different meanings that have been attached to representation in different languages and philosophical traditions, the proposal asks whether and how these meanings can be important to understand democratic representation. This purpose is achieved investigating the classical and contemporary literature on democratic representation and inquiring into the most recent semantic and linguistic transformations of this notion at the domestic and transnational level.