Building: Jean-Brillant Floor: 4 Room: B-4325
The descriptive representation of groups such as women or immigrants in parliamentary assemblies is uneven across advanced democracies. Traditionally, normative political theorists have dominated the scholarly debate about descriptive representation. The conceptual and normative debate focused on arguments for and against descriptive representation. The empirical study of the sources of these variations has lagged behind. This was largely due to the lack of comparative data. A number of cross-national projects such as the Pathways project have made some progress in recent years to produce comparative data across a number of countries as well as across time. This allows scholars to explore the impact of macro-level variables (such as institutions and political opportunity structures) and their interaction with meso-level and micro-level variables on the descriptive representation of particular social groups in advanced democracies. This panel brings together scholars that use a variety of empirical and theoretical approaches to capture and explain variations in descriptive representation.