In framing a government to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
Madison et al., Federalist, No. 51.
Representation is a normatively laden and rhetorically resonant term, and for this reason is much used and abused. People have disagreed, sometimes violently, about whether and by whom they are represented; theorists as dissimilar as Burke and Mill, supreme courts as different as the Frankfurter and the Rehnquist courts (to name but one constitutional tradition), have contradicted and tied themselves into knots in the search for a core, univocal meaning. 163 Yet it is profoundly unlikely that a term used for a range of purposes and in varied contexts should have a single meaning. It is hard enough to specify a determinate, limited, and consistent set of meanings relevant to a definite purpose.
My aim in this chapter is to develop a plausible conception of political representation appropriate to a practicable theory of democracy for societies of great and even global scope. As such, several more particular purposes, contexts, and uses must first be considered. I defend and elaborate a new conception of what Hannah Pitkin calls 'substantive' representation, that is, 'acting in the best interests of the public, in