Having gradually moved from cultural to political history, one crucial concept on the crossroads between these fields has been central to all my academic and non-academic work: the concept of representation. If originally I focused primarily on the ways cultural élites represented their nation (especially Belgium and the Netherlands) by means of language, history, science or the arts, nowadays my attention has shifted to processes of political representation. Hence, at the center of my current work are the parliamentary cultures of the Western European countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and France) in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Fully recognizing the importance of institutional settings for the workings of political representation, I systematically try to include also its cultural and social aspects. If Members of Parliament are supposed to act on behalf of 'the nation' or 'the people', they have to forge their vision of these entities discursively, but they also have to directly interact with the members of their constituency. In my approach of parliamentary history, I try to pay attention to both aspects of the parliamentary activities as well as to the tensions between both. The methods I use are, therefore, borrowed from discourse analysis and cultural semiotics as well as from social history.