Political Theory

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

Samuel Hayat CNRS - France
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.