Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Constructivist Turn in Political Representation$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lisa Disch, Mathijs van de Sande, and Nadia Urbinati

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474442602

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474442602.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 21 April 2021

Pinning down representation

Pinning down representation

(p.163) 10 Pinning down representation
The Constructivist Turn in Political Representation

Lasse Thomassen

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter critically examines the most sophisticated and systematic version of the constructivist turn in recent scholarly work on political representation: that of Michael Saward and his theory of the representative claim. I argue that the constructivist turn means treating representation as inherently opaque and unstable; representation is an event and, as such, ultimately impossible to pin down. There are three areas where Saward does not take the full constructivist turn. They are, first, the notion of the referent, which is not constituted through the representative claim; second, while Saward argues that the representative claim is an event that cannot be pinned down, it remains transparent and stable in some respects; and, third, the normative aspects of the theory remain within the horizon of a future in which we may one day be able to pin down the meaning of the representative claim. To help make this case and show how Saward’s theory of the representative claim can be radicalised, the chapter enlists his own texts as well as Jacques Derrida’s deconstructive readings of discourses of representation.

Keywords:   Constructivist Turn, Michael Saward, Representative Claim, Jacques Derrida, Political representation

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.