Mapping the representative claim

Michael Saward

in The Representative Claim

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579389
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722950 | DOI:
Mapping the representative claim

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This chapter defines and elaborates a number of key aspects of the representative claim, underscoring the latter's distinctive utility as an analytical tool. After locating the representative claim in the wider context of perspectives on representation as an event rather than a given presence, the chapter sets out and discusses in some detail the five‐part account of the elements of the representative claim. Representation has often been understood as three‐sided: a subject stands for an object which is in turn an account of a referent. The argument in the chapter shows that to understand multiple forms of political representation we need to add to this triangular conception the ideas of the maker (of claims) and the audience (for claims). The crucial notions of constituency and audience are elaborated, showing their dynamic and interlinked character. The account is designed both to capture the essence and to show the subtlety and reach of the representative claim approach.

Keywords: the representative claim; event; presence; triangle of representation; audience; constituency

Chapter.  8194 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Theory

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