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Title: Constructive Representation
Authors: de la Cruz, Charles
Advisors: Macedo, Stephen
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: Attitude
Subjects: Political science
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Recently there has emerged a “constructivist turn” in theories of political representation, characterized by the idea that political representation is not just a mechanism for creating governmental responsiveness to the interests or preferences of a constituency, but also a process through which political interests and preferences—together with the salient group identities underlying them—are created and transformed. In this dissertation I develop a theory of political representation as a constructive process in which political actors compete to mobilize voters through the use of political symbols that create and reinforce perceptions of the political world in terms of salient group identities. I accomplish this by synthesizing a range of work in political science and psychology into a novel and integrated theory of the relationship between electoral institutions and patterns of political attitude development. Having laid out this model of the mechanisms of constructive representation, I demonstrate in subsequent chapters that this model can provide insight into various aspects of representative government including the activity of political parties and the relationship between technologies of communication and processes of political representation. I also provide an account of how this approach can inform a normative account of the functions that systems of representative government can and should perform.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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