You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

UK Politics – Theories of Representation

1. Historical Context

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

 
  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture

Lecture

In this first lecture we explore the origins of representation in politics. This discussion takes us from medieval Europe to the French Revolution, and eventually lands us at our modern system of elections. We consider both the theoretical underpinnings of representation, in which elite men often acted as representatives of the wider social body and brought grievances to the given monarch, and the more tangible form of representation that exists in modern representative democracies. This lecture also involves a discussion of how the institution of Parliament developed over time.

Course

In this course, Professor Andrew Blick (KCL) explores the theory and practice of representation in modern democracies. We begin by exploring the origins of representation in politics. Then, in the second lecture, we contrast representative democracy with direct or participative democracy as represented by recent referendums such as the EU referendum of 2016. In the third lecture, we explore two different theories of representation: delegate and Burkean. In the fourth lecture, we then consider the role of parties, elections, and mandates in the UK’s modern representative democracy, emphasising in particular the twin forces of individual judgement and party allegiance in shaping how constituents’ interests are represented in Parliament. In the fifth lecture, we ask who representatives are and what this tells us about the nature and quality of representation in Parliament. To answer this question, we explore two forms of representation: descriptive and substantive. Then, in the sixth and final lecture, we tie together the various elements of representation we have discussed thus far in the specific context of the UK Parliament.

Lecturer

Professor Andrew Blick has extensive experience working for think tanks in the UK Parliament and as an administrative assistant at No.10 Downing Street. He has advised democratic reform groups working in countries including Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine; and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in Stockholm. From 2010-15 he was research fellow to the first ever parliamentary inquiry into the possibility of introducing a written constitution for the UK, carried out by the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee. In 2021 he began participation in an AHRC-funded project assessing the history of democracy from ancient times to the contemporary era, through considering written primary sources. He recently published ‘Electrified Democracy: the Internet and the United Kingdom Parliament in history’.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Blick, A. (2022, January 18). UK Politics – Theories of Representation - Historical Context [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/theories-of-representation/historical-context-63549db5-7c50-4d1a-94fa-de7fd7afffa2

MLA style

Blick, A. "UK Politics – Theories of Representation – Historical Context." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 18 Jan 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/theories-of-representation/historical-context-63549db5-7c50-4d1a-94fa-de7fd7afffa2

Get instant access to over 5,800 lectures