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“Politiques da la représentation” Pour une pratique cosmopolitique du droit

dinsdag, 28 november, 2006 - 11:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Faculteit: Law and Criminology
Laurent De Sutter

The GMO event has changed the setting of contemporary politics. More particularily, the emergence of experiences of Participatory Technology Assessment (PTA) centered around GMO's has given birth to a shift of attention within the framework of contemporary democratic constitutional states : from participation to implication. In the participatory model of democracy, the citizens were invited to be part of the process of decision-making. In the "implicatory" one, however, the citizens invite themselves to this process : they decide on the content of the agenda, on the ways to fullfill it, and on the validity of the results of the whole process. But such a shift is not an easy one to operate. How to welcome it in democratic constitutional states where participation itself is considered as a challenge for political representation? The purpose of my thesis is to show that such a welcoming depends on a parallel shift from a conception of representation as legitimacy - to a conception of representation as experimentation. I show that political representation may constitute the experimental part of our democratic constitutional states. Why? Because, as a legal principle, political representation allows for the invention of entities that were not existing before. Such as the implicated publics of the GMO controversy. Shifting from participation to implication would then mean to shift from the people of the old representation to the publics of the experimental one."

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