Out in Politics: LGBT Candidates, Elected Officials and Representation

ECPG Lausanne Prearo

Panel / ECPG 2017

Panel Co-chairs: Manon Tremblay & Massimo Prearo


Political representation is a multilayered phenomenon. For instance, Pitkin (1967) distinguishes between symbolic, formal, descriptive and substantive representation. Phillips (1995) and Young (1990) conceive of political representation as an inclusive participatory process of democratic deliberations. Saward (2006) sees representation as a creative discursive process of “claims-making” which constitutes the represented and their interests. Far from being contradictory, these readings of representation are complementary.

The objective of this panel is to reflect on the representation of LGBT people in different international, national or local contexts, through the specific angle of electoral politics. More specifically, our purpose is to explore different dimensions of the representational role of LGBT politicians, for instance: the barriers (or the advantages) to their election, their sociodemographic profile, their activist engagement and political career, their engagement in representing LGBT communities, or conflicts between them and LGBT movements.

Paper list:

‘Out’ in the British Parliament Details 
First: Changing Family Law. The Connection between LGBT Movement and the Italian Parliament in the Long Fight for the Legal Recognition of Lesbian and Gay Families Details
Out in Office: Openly Gay and Lesbian Politicians in France and the United States Details
Out LGBT Politicians in Canada: A Descriptive Representation Profile



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