ABSTRACT

This chapter begins with a discussion of representation and the representational role concept. It elaborates the general theoretical argument and expectations before turning to the empirical question of whether representational styles vary according to different national political systems, and different levels of government within each political system. The chapter then assesses the significance of differences to be observed when comparing representation style orientations among elected representatives at different political-administrative levels within any given country. Finally, it investigates representational role orientations among county and municipal councillors in 12 European countries. In addition to the classic distinction, introduced by Edmund Burke, between being a trustee versus a delegate in representing one's constituents, the role of representing a party mandate has also been used in the analysis. In 10 out of 12 countries the delegate role is stronger among municipal councillors than it is among their counterparts at the second tier of local government.