Representation is more than a matter of elections and parties. This book offers a radical new perspective on the subject. Representation, it argues, is all around us, a dynamic practise across societies rather than simply a fixed feature of government. At the heart of the argument is thestraightforward but versatile notion of the representative claim. People claim to speak or stand for others in multiple, shifting, and surprising patterns. At the same time they offer images of their constituents and audiences as artists paint portraits. Who can speak for and about us in thisvolatile world of representations? Which representative claims can have democratic legitimacy? The Representative Claim is set to transform our core assumptions about what representation is and can be. At a time when political representation is widely believed to be in crisis, the book provides atimely and critical corrective to conventional wisdom on the present and potential future of representative democracy.