- Subject index
The SAGE Handbook of Political Geography provides students of the sub-discipline with a highly contextualized and systematic overview of the latest thinking and research. Edited by key scholars, with international contributions from acknowledged authorities on the relevant research, The SAGE Handbook of Political Geography is divided into six sections: Scope and Development of Political Geography; Geographies of the State; Participation and Representation; Political Geographies of Difference; Geography, Policy, and Governance; and Global Political Geographies.
Chapter 22: The Territorial Politics of Representation
The Territorial Politics of Representation
The Geography of Representation
Representation is a maddening concept. As Hannah Pitkin suggests in her seminal work on the subject, representation ‘is the making present in some sense of something which is nevertheless not present literally’ (Pitkin, 1967: 8–9; emphasis in the original). For democratic political representation the entity to be represented is elusive. Is it the nation? ‘The people?’ The ‘will of the people?’ The aggregation of individual preferences? The aggregation of group preferences? None of these is a tangible entity, and indeed, they are created only through the act of representation.
Political representation is therefore never simply ‘mapping’ a political constituency onto a representative body. Like a cartographer picking a particular projection while drawing a map, ...