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Domagoj Vujeva ; Fakultet političkih znanosti Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 144 Kb


str. 163-188

preuzimanja: 770



The text deals with Hegel’s theory of political representation which is founded
on the estate-corporative representation of major interests of civil society
in the political state. Such a form of representation is contrary to the modern
concept of representation; according to the latter, the object of representation
is always the people as community of free and equal citizens which the representative
is yet to shape into a unique subject capable of activity. In order to
value adequately Hegel’s theory of representation and its potential in contemporary
representative democracies, the text begins by analyzing Hegel’s idea
of the constitution as a wider institutional mechanism of mediation between
the social and political spheres. This is followed by an overview of Hegel’s
criticism of representative democracy, which he perceived as a form of representation
inadequate for the modern state. Namely, in Hegel’s judgment,
representative democracy, with its starting point of the people as a community
of free and equal citizens and its reduction of their political activity to
voting in the elections, excludes representation of particular social interests
and true participation of citizens in political affairs, which is why it results in
a formalistic determination of the state. The basic insight that enables Hegel
to overcome those contradictions of representative democracy is the insight
regarding modern civil society as the locus of historical emancipation of man.
Thus precisely the “estates” – formations resulting from the division of labour
– and “corporations” – interest associations of individuals – become the instrument
of mediation between the social and political spheres in The Philosophy
of Right. This very insight, however, is the core problem in Hegel’s theory
of representation, since it makes Hegel overlook entirely the political potential
of democratic establishment of state authority. Still, Hegel’s “interest” representation
is not inapplicable to contemporary representative democracies
– indeed, it is a necessary functional corrective to the modern concept of representation,
the element which equally belongs to the reality of the modern
state. The final part of the text strives to show that it plays such a role precisely
if observed from the viewpoint of Hegel’s teachings on the constitution. In
Hegel, namely, the estate assembly does not occupy the place which, in modern
representative systems, belongs to the parliament – in Hegel’s constitutional
model, that place is occupied by the monarch – but is instead conceived
as a mediatory organ positioned between the supreme state authority and the
people. In other words, the estate assembly is the second instance of representation
in which the plurality of civil society and the subjective freedom of
individuals come into political prominence.

Ključne riječi

Hegel; estate-corporative representation; representative democracy; civil society; political state

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