Assessing Representative Democracy: the Need of New Mechanisms of Political Representation


  • Luis LOIA Centre for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies, Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Assistant Professor, Lisbon, Portugal;


Western neo-liberal Democracies are often and shortly characterized by having a representative procedure of participation in the public sphere of life, determining a self-ruled form of political regime, affirming the sovereignty of the people in a specific territory; an economic welfare system; political institutions that administrate and organize public life based on their citizen´s confidence; public security and order. Yet, the lack of political representation of local communities, or at least their sense of ineffectiveness of the representative system to respond to their needs, promotes their alienation from
national political systems and weakens it. It is a vicious circle, i.e., the political system does not adequately represent the political communities, and these, if not represented, weakens the political system and its ability to respond to the needs of local communities. Our intent is to show that breaking this vicious circle means strengthening democracy with new mechanisms of political representation.