Does Presence Produce Representation of Interests? Chapter uri icon

abstract

  • This chapter reprises the argument that representation—of women or of other historically under-represented groups—is a multistage, conflictual, and contingent process. It returns to and assesses the three propositions based on what the studies included in this volume tell us regarding their implications. Findings indicate that representation of women's interests can promote greater representation of women, or backlash; that it is important for groups pursuing representation of their interests to have advocates in the right government venues, and that their descriptive representatives also have incentives to act for the group; and that answers to the question of “who provides representation” depend on the definition of interests adopted by the researcher. The chapter also concludes that representation may be context and venue specific. The chapter calls for future research and offers some tentative hypotheses in three broad areas to move forward our understanding of representation of historically under-represented groups: study of inclusive versus exclusive representation; enhanced theorizing and empirical studies of political opportunity structures and of diversity within groups; and the dynamics of representation.

author list (cited authors)

  • Escobar-Lemmon, M. C., & Taylor-Robinson, M. M.

citation count

  • 2

editor list (cited editors)

  • Escobar-Lemmon, M. C., & Taylor-Robinson, M. M.

Book Title

  • Representation

publication date

  • June 2014