The problem of representation, as it appears in the context of justice, legitimacy, liberty and equality, has increasingly attracted scholarly interest. There is, however, no consensus on the point in political life at which proper representation is considered to have been achieved. Representation is often referred to when individuals or groups claim “equal” participation in public life. During the past years, the political representation of women and minorities has been the subject of numerous studies in sociology as well as in political science. Nevertheless, instead of discussing contemporary definitions and visions – especially those based only on different methods of counting votes – it seems more interesting to analyse the idea of representation, to trace this idea back to its origins, to follow its history and to understand its classical features in order to acquire helpful insights into the current political situation and philosophical debate.
Kinga Marulewska is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the Nicolaus Copernicus University (Toruń, Poland). Currently she is a Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.