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Photo of Anthoula Malkopoulou

Anthoula Malkopoulou

Associate professor

Photo of Anthoula Malkopoulou

The Politics of Voter Presence


  • Anthoula Malkopoulou
  • Lisa Hill

Summary, in English

By focusing only on the composition of representative bodies, the traditional ‘politics of presence’ approach has inadvertently diminished the value of participation for representation. It overlooks that there exist ‘elite voters’ who reinforce discrimination against abstainers at the policy level and create obstacles for improving the lives of the marginalized. We offer a remedy to persisting patterns of political exclusion by arguing in favour of a ‘politics of presence’ at the polls. This requires high and socially diverse turnout that will make representation more inclusive, broader and qualitatively different; it will be more descriptive, not of group characteristics, but of the interests, opinions and ideas of voters. Our alternative is a fusion of descriptive and substantive representation: ‘descriptive responsiveness’.


  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year





International Political Science Review

Document type

Journal article


SAGE Publications


  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


  • descriptive representation
  • voter turnout
  • the politics of presence
  • descriptive responsiveness
  • voting rules




  • ISSN: 0192-5121