Rethinking Representation: the Challenge of Non-humans

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This article argues that the standard model of political representation mischaracterises the structure of representation. After surveying the classical types of representation and their application to non-humans, the basic nature of representation is shown to have been unduly centred on interests, responsiveness and unidirectional protocols. It proposes a different structure by drawing inspiration from recent scholarship and developments in political philosophy, as well as the representation of non-human actors. It proposes an ontological grounding of representation in ‘irreducible multiplicity’, and a structural analysis based on the concepts of claim and relation. This abstract form of representation can take into account both human and non-human cases, and works to ground different typologies. The relational structure of representation creates interests and preferences, subjects and actors, power dynamics and seemingly immutable identities.
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Archival date: 2016-11-09
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When Species Meet.Haraway, Donna J.
The Case for Animal Rights.Regan, Tom & Midgley, Mary

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