Book

The Representative Claim

Michael Saward

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579389
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722950 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579389.001.0001
The Representative Claim

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In an era of disaffection from traditional political institutions and the rise of transnational politics, the need to rethink political representation – who speaks for whom and with what authority – has taken on a new and practical urgency. This book offers and defends an innovative approach to the topic, built around the straightforward but versatile idea of the ‘representative claim’. Representation is defined broadly as a dynamic process of claim‐making, and not solely an institutional fact deriving from election. The book shows how the idea of the representative claim provides critical purchase where conventional approaches reach their analytical limits. The elaboration of the representative claim is conducted against the background of a systematic critique of prominent existing theories. The crucial aesthetic, cultural and performative sides of representation are developed as part of its political dimension, and the key concepts are put to work in examinations of cases of non‐elective representation, political parties, and the representation of women and ‘nature’. Concluding with a detailed account of what can make representative claims democratically legitimate, the book shows how our ideas of democracy are disrupted and revised when we embrace the notion of representation as the making and reception of claims.

Keywords: representation; representative claim; representative democracy; performative; political parties; green politics; women and representation; future of democracy; political representation; elections; constituency; audience

Book.  224 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Theory

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Representative Claim

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Mapping the representative claim in The Representative Claim

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Variations and resources in The Representative Claim

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The elected and the unelected in The Representative Claim

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Debates and interventions in The Representative Claim

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