Unrepresentative claims: Refusing to represent as a source of power and legitimacy

17 September 2019, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


This paper is about situations in which people actively refuse to make representative claims or refute their own representativeness. While they may seem to constitute a minor and borderline case in the study of political representation, taking these claims seriously may help us understand some quite common political interactions that we may not be fully equipped to deal with. Yet among these interactions, some can be said to gain prominence these days, especially when it comes to social movements, and much of my interest for this question was prompted by the French Yellow Vest movement and the difficulties in interpreting it. More importantly, these claims articulate representation and power in a way that seems at odds with how we intuitively think their relation, making them potentially of some interest for our understanding of representation.


Gilets Jaunes
Yellow Vests


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.