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Making a presence: Images of polity and constituency in British Muslim representative politics

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jan Dobbernack



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


In its current shape, British Muslim politics has been described as following a ‘democratic constellation’. The idea challenges conventional understandings of post-immigrant agency, especially assumptions underpinning political representation. Recent contributions to the study of representation draw attention to assertions of ‘presence’ or highlight ‘acts of representation’. Both of these perspectives struggle to capture the self-conscious calibration of representative claims that is characteristic for Muslim representative politics today. Developing an alternative account of representation, the paper draws attention to the making of images of Muslim constituencies in correspondence with an image of the British polity. It considers evidence from three cases: (i) the mobilization of Muslim constituents by the advocacy group Mend; (ii) Sadiq Khan’s campaign for the London Mayoralty; and (iii) educational guidance issued by the Muslim Council of Britain.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dobbernack J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ethnicities

Year: 2019

Volume: 19

Issue: 2

Pages: 292-310

Print publication date: 01/04/2019

Online publication date: 23/08/2017

Acceptance date: 12/06/2017

Date deposited: 23/01/2018

ISSN (print): 1468-7968

ISSN (electronic): 1741-2706

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/1468796817728095


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