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Units : Center for the Study of Politics | ULB590

Description :

Existing democracies are challenged by critics such as Trump, Brexiteers and populists claiming that democracy is not
representative anymore. RepResent takes these claims serious by empirically examining the relationship between popular democratic resentment
and the functioning of representation. Is representation failing? And, is democratic resentment driven by failing representation?
Democratic representation consists of several dimensions, a substantive (policies), a procedural (institutions) and a symbolic
dimension (feeling represented by representatives). Adequate representation entails there is congruence between the preferences of
citizens and the actual policies, democratic procedures and representatives. RepResent is novel in the sense that it systematically
compares citizens' views with elites' views, that it tackles all three dimensions at the same time to assess their individual
contribution to democratic resentment, and that it does so in a dynamic over-time design. Concretely, RepResent examines the 2019
elections in Belgium, the campaign that precedes it and the term that follows. Its institutional structure makes Belgium a good, even a
critical case. Using a large variety of methods all with a dynamic component and ranging from traditional panel surveys, over
content analyses and experiments, to focus groups and interviews, RepResent aims to dig deep into one of the root causes of the
widespread democratic resentment characterizing current politics.

List of persons in charge :

  • PILET Jean-Benoît

  • VAN HAUTE Emilie

List of lessors :

  • F.R.S.-FNRS et Fonds associés (hors FRIA)