Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2004

Abstract

According to the minority empowerment thesis, minority representation strengthens representational links, fosters more positive attitudes toward government, and encourages political participation. We examine this theory from a cross-national perspective, making use of surveys that sampled minorities in the United States and New Zealand. Both countries incorporate structures into their electoral systems that make it possible for minority groups to elect representatives of their choice. We find that in both countries descriptive representation matters: it increases knowledge about and contact with representatives in the U.S. and leads to more positive evaluations of governmental responsiveness and increased electoral participation in New Zealand. These findings have broad implications for debates about minority representation.

Publication Title

The Journal of Politics

Volume

66

Issue

2

First Page

534

Last Page

556

Required Publisher's Statement

The Journal of Politics / Volume 66 / Issue 02 / May 2004, pp 534-556
Copyright © 2004, Southern Political Science Association
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2508.2004.00163.x (About DOI), Published online: 29 July 2008
Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Southern Political Science AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3449673

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