As a key subject within the field of political science, democratic representation has been studied widely. One aspect of democracy, related to the functioning of representation, is political equality. According to Dahl (On democracy, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1998), democracies should be both responsive and treat its citizens as political equals. This latter element may be taken to mean that democracies should be—more or less—equally responsive to their citizens. However, studies show that, while there is evidence that governments represent or respond to people generally, there is less support of this form of political equality. In this research agenda and overview of studies dealing with representational inequality, some citizens seem better represented than others, most notably women, ethnic minorities, and those with lower income. I aim to take a modest step toward some more conceptual clarity and outline in what ways this field of study could be strengthened and expanded.
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Which can theoretically range between 0 and 100, with higher values indicating more inequality.
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The author would like to thank Isabelle Guinaudeau for her valuable suggestions on an earlier version of this article. The author also acknowledges support from the Bergen Research Foundation (Grant No. 811309). The usual disclaimers apply.
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Peters, Y. Democratic representation and political inequality: how social differences translate into differential representation. Fr Polit 16, 341–357 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41253-018-0066-9
- Political inequality