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Explaining motivation to represent: how does descriptive representation lead to substantive representation of racial and ethnic minorities?

Sobolewska, M; McKee, R; Campbell, R; (2018) Explaining motivation to represent: how does descriptive representation lead to substantive representation of racial and ethnic minorities? West European Politic , 41 (6) pp. 1237-1261. 10.1080/01402382.2018.1455408. Green open access

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Abstract

Empirical studies show a link between substantive and descriptive representation of racial and ethnic minorities. However, our understanding of the mechanisms through which this association operates comes almost exclusively from normative arguments. This article examines three of these proposed mechanisms: two intrinsic mechanisms operationalised as perceptions of shared experience and a motivation to represent, and an extrinsic mechanism of electoral incentives. By doing so it moves on from documenting the link between descriptive and substantive representation to explaining it. Clear evidence is found that prospective minority representatives are influenced by all three motivations, to different extents, with a difference between minority candidates of different parties. Also, while the ethnic minority population of a constituency is usually associated with extrinsic motivation, it is found that it increases intrinsic motivation for representation among prospective minority representatives, suggesting these may be less distinct than is assumed in the normative literature.

Type: Article
Title: Explaining motivation to represent: how does descriptive representation lead to substantive representation of racial and ethnic minorities?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/01402382.2018.1455408
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2018.1455408
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Political Science, Government & Law, Descriptive representation, substantive representation, parliamentary candidates, ethnic minorities, racial minorities, FIELD EXPERIMENT, BLACK, LEGISLATORS, INTERESTS, RACE, CONSTITUENCY, POLITICIANS, ELECTIONS, CONTEXT, GENDER
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10064680
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