Funded by the joint program Agence Nationale de la Recherche/Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Hosted by the Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin

Principal investigators: Yves Sintomer (Paris 8 University, Institut Universitaire de France), Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal (CNRS-EHESS), Brigitte Geissel (Goethe University Frankfurt/Main), Thomas Heberer (Duisburg Essen University)

Timing: May 2016-December 2020

The world currently experiences a crisis of established forms of political representation, while various claims to renew political representation are emerging all over the world. However, most contemporary research on representation focuses on electoral/mandate representation within single countries. As a result, we lack a comparative, global analysis of (new) representative claims developed outside the representative political system; and dynamics developing in the Global South, including non-democratic entities, are neglected by Western scholars.

Our research intends to address these gaps by putting into perspective representative claims (i.e. situations in which an actor claims to speak/act in the name of others) in France and Germany on the one hand, and in three BRICS states: Brazil, India and China on the other hand. Such claims are most often based on the denunciation of misrepresentation, which they pretend to correct. In the five countries under scrutiny, we will identify different situations in which (seemingly) new representative claims are raised, criticized or justified. Proceeding through a carefully designed common methodological framework, our research will pursue the objective of analyzing developments of representative claims from a global, transnational perspective.