Below you can find a list of the most important publications by members of our research team. A full list of publications of each member features on their individual member profiles.

Political Representation

  • AKACHAR, Soumia (2016) 'Stuck between islamophobia and homophobia: applying intersectionality to understanding the position of gay Muslim identities in the Netherlands,' Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies, 2(1-2), 171-185.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    not available
  • ERZEEL, Silvia & CELIS, Karen (2016) 'Political parties, ideology and the substantive representation of women,' Party Politics, 22(5), 576-586.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    The recent finding that right-wing parties increasingly make efforts to integrate women’s concerns raises questions as to whether ideology still counts as a reliable indicator for women’s substantive representation and how different party contexts shape opportunities for the articulation of women’s interests. This article therefore critically reassesses how ideology defines the opportunities for women’s substantive representation, based on a comparative study of legislators’ acting on behalf of women in 14 European countries. We argue that ideology still offers an important explanation for women’s substantive representation, but that the link between the two should be conceptualized as complex rather than straightforward. The role of ideology is best understood if scholars (1) adopt an understanding of ‘ideology’ that allows for more variation and is conceptually different from ‘party’, (2) differentiate between gendered interests and feminist interests and (3) understand the impact of ideology as both direct and mediated.
  • SEVERS, Eline, CELIS, Karen & ERZEEL, Silvia (2016) 'Power, privilege and disadvantage: intersectionality theory and representation,' Politics, 36(4), 346-354.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    This article critically reviews the extant literature on social group representation and clarifies the advantages of intersectionality theory for studying political representation. It argues that the merit of intersectionality theory can be found in its ontology of power. Intersectionality theory is founded on a relational conception of political power that locates the constitution of power relations within social interactions, such as political representation. As such, intersectionality theory pushes scholarship beyond studying representation inequalities – that are linked to presumably stable societal positions – to also consider the ways in which political representation (re)creates positions of privilege and disadvantage.
  • SEVERS, Eline, CELIS, Karen & Petra Meier (2015) 'The indirectness of political representation: a blessing or a concern? A study of the conceptions of members of the Flemish regional parliament,' Parliamentary Affairs, 68(3), 616-637.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    This article situates itself within ongoing scholarly debates on the conditions of democratic representation. It, more precisely, posits traditional concerns for the ‘indirectness’ of political representation—that is the possibility for citizens’ alienation and exclusion from decision-making—against contemporary accounts that conceive of such ‘indirectness’ as quintessential to democracy; mobilising citizens’ judgement and, potentially, drawing them into the decision-making process and making it more inclusive. Juxtaposing these two theoretical accounts with the practice of representation, this article researches—based on 70 semi-structured interviews with members of the Flemish regional parliament—how representatives themselves conceive of representation and deal with its indirectness.
  • CELIS, Karen & ERZEEL, Silvia (2015) 'Beyond the usual suspects: non-left, male and non-feminist MPs and the substantive representation of women,' Government and Opposition, 50(1), 45-64.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    The focus on female MPs and leftist and feminist issues in traditional studies of women’s substantive representation has supported the overall conclusion that women, feminists and left-wing parties promote women’s interests in parliament. But our analysis of the ‘critical actors’ in women’s substantive representation in 10 European countries confirms this finding only to a certain extent. Our inductive research design reveals an important group of less obvious actors: non-left, non- feminist and male MPs. That they speak out on behalf of women points to the necessity of revisiting our theories on women’s substantive representation.
  • TANASESCU, Mihnea (2015) Environment, political representation, and the challenge of rights: speaking for nature. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 216 p.
    category: Book
    Tanasescu examines the rights of nature in terms of its constituent parts. Besides offering a thorough theoretical grounding, the book gives a first detailed overview of the actual cases of rights for nature so far. This is the first comprehensive treatment of the rights of nature to date, both analytically and in terms of actual cases.
  • ERZEEL, Silvia, CALUWAERTS, Didier & CELIS, Karen (2014) From Agency to Institutions and Back: Comparing Legislator’s Acting on Behalf of Women in Parliamentary Democracies, in Deschouwer, K. & Depauw, S. (eds.) Representing the People. A Survey among Members of State-Wide and Sub-State Parliaments, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 66-86.
    category: Book Chapter
    No Abstract.
  • SEVERS, Eline (2012) 'Substantive representation through a claims-making lens: A strategy for the identification and analysis of substantive claims,' Representation, 48(2), 169-182.
    category: Peer-reviewed article
    Within the scholarship on substantive representation, representation is increasingly perceived in terms of ‘claiming to speak for’ the represented. Although this constructivist turn to substantive representation creates promising avenues for further research, it makes it ever more difficult to set processes of representation apart from other, more generic, forms of communication. This article seeks to redress this situation in two ways: firstly, by introducing the concept of ‘substantive claims’ as a more apt translation of substantive representation into the ‘claims-making’ paradigm; and secondly, by developing an interpretive schema which allows for identifying and analysing these substantive claims.