Topic: Representation for Realists

Most major normative theories of political representation presuppose populist empirical theories of voter behavior. This paper examines how such normative theories are undermined by democratic realism. Democratic realism holds most voters are tribalistic but non-ideological; their voting behavior does not reflect their underlying interests or goals. On the realist account, it is hard to make sense of supposed duties of fidelity, deference, or sincerity, or of supposed virtues of promoting political equality or self-governance.

We welcome faculty, students, and staff of the Philosophy and Moral Science Departments as well as members of the wider University community.