This article critically reviews the extant literature on social group representation and clarifies the advantages of intersectionality theory for studying political representation. We define the merit of intersectionality theory in terms of its ontology of power. Intersectionality theory is founded on a relational conception of political power that locates the constitution of power relations within social interactions, such as political representation. As such, intersectionality theory pushes the scholarship beyond studying representation inequalities – that are linked to presumably stable societal positions – to also consider the ways in which political representation (re)creates positions of privilege and disadvantage.
Political representation; social group representation; substantive representation; intersectionality; group interests