Rowman and Littlefield International

The Edges of Political Representation

Mapping, Critiquing and Pushing the Boundaries

Edited by Mihnea Tanasescu and Claire Dupont

2 Reviews

First critical assessment of ‘traditional’ understandings of political representation, through electoral means, feminist critiques, multi-level representation, representation of groups

Hardback ISBN: 9781785522970 Release date: Jun 2019
£60.00 €98.00 $100.00
Ebook ISBN: 9781785522987 Release date: Jun 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $38.99

Pages: 186


The concept of political representation has expanded beyond the classical relationship between representative and the represented to encompass advocacy, group identities, non-human voices, future generations, non-democratic systems, symbols, virtual representation and broader interests. As such, literature on political representation stems from a wide range of viewpoints and scholarly traditions, with different norms and assumptions built in.

This volume aims to map and critique the ‘edges’ of political representation. By moving from a discussion in the classical electoral literature through feminist perspectives to different levels of representation, different understandings of who is represented and onto empirical studies of symbolic and virtual representation through participation, the contributions in this book provide a nuanced assessment while also presenting future avenues for research that go beyond the mainstream of research on political representation.

Taken together, the chapters provide a wide vista of political representation across several sub-disciplines in political science (political theory, political philosophy, party politics, electoral politics, feminism, European politics, minority politics, online governance etc.), and also open up new research avenues through a thorough investigation and critique of political representation in scholarship.



Mihnea Tănăsescu and Claire Dupont

2.Electoral Representation

Kris Deschouwer

3.Exclusion and Representation: Women’s Struggle for Inclusion

Karen Celis

4.Representation and Accountability of the European Union in Global Governance Institutions

Sebastian Oberthür

5.Representing Persons: Evocative Representation

Mihnea Tănăsescu

6.Theorising Representation Fairness: Why We Need to Account for Social Groups

Eline Severs

7.Representing Future Generations

Claire Dupont

8.Understanding the Controversy of ‘Black Pete’ through the Lens of Symbolic Representation

Ilke Adam, Soumia Akachar, Karen Celis, Serena D’Agostino & Eline Severs

9.An Architecture for Hybrid Democracy in the EU: when Participation (en)counters Representation

Ferran Davesa & Jamal Shahin


Mihnea Tănăsescu and Claire Dupont

Mihnea Tanasescu is an FWO Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Political Science Department, Vrije Universiteit in Brussels.

Clare Dupont is Assistant Professor of European and International Governance, Department of Public Governance and Management, Ghent University, Belgium.

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2 Reviews

New ideas, practices and sites of political representation are challenging orthodox thinking in political science and in day-to-day politics. Featuring an impressive range of approaches and methods, the contributors to The Edges of Political Representation describe and interrogate these challenges—electoral, symbolic, transnational and generational among others. The book is a timely and sophisticated series of takes on the new frontiers of representation.

Michael Saward, Professor of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick

This collection is a timely and challenging contribution to thinking about representative democracy. The problem of incomplete representation is tackled throughout: however free and fair elections may be, they do not imply an equal and fair inclusion of intra-societal differences. This makes the book a must-read for all those who care for a just democracy.

Hans Keman, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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