The Quality of Representative Claims: Uncovering a Weakness in the Defense of the Liberal World Order
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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All kinds of actors, elected and unelected, make claims to represent certain constituencies. This article sheds new light on what this practice of representative claims-making might imply for the legitimacy of the liberal world order. It develops a quality of representation index at the level of representative claims and introduces a novel dataset. First, the article introduces the information criterion as key benchmark against which to evaluate representative claims. Second, it constructs a quality of representation index based on this criterion and uses it to assess representative claims. Third, multivariate analysis corroborates differences between various makers while controlling for context. Bridging the divide between political theory and empirical political sociology, this article reveals that the supporters of the current liberal democratic world order make significantly lower quality representative claims than various challengers. A range of new avenues for both theoretical and empirical research ensues.