Abstract

Abstract:

Claude Lefort’s interests as a democratic theorist primarily lied elsewhere than in institutional questions. This essay, however, takes up what commentary he did provide on representative institutions to offer a new interpretation of his thought. Focusing in particular on little-studied writings of his from the late 1980s, this essay argues that at the institutional level Lefort was committed to a descriptive account of representation, based in a network of associations beyond the electoral sphere, that resembled earlier liberal and pluralist theories. This revised understanding of Lefort raises broader questions about the democratic credentials of Lefort’s theory, which are too often taken for granted, and suggests that he fits comfortably within longstanding liberal traditions of thought about inclusive, deliberative government.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1918-6649
Print ISSN
0730-479X
Pages
pp. 135-163
Launched on MUSE
2018-12-18
Open Access
No
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