People’s sense of political representation and national stories: The case of Israel

Yael R. Kaplan*, Tamir Sheafer, Israel Waismel-Manor, Shaul R. Shenhav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research on political representation mainly focused on representatives but has overlooked individuals’ sense of inclusion within the greater group: the nation. Building on narrative theory, we propose a novel mechanism that fosters a feeling of political representation—a similarity between individuals’ personal-national stories and the collective-national metanarrative of the polity. Metanarratives are shared dominant stories that present a community with desirable social conventions. While they seek to represent the nation, metanarratives are not entirely inclusive and do not appeal to all citizens. We argue that individuals who do internalize the metanarrative feel more represented. To demonstrate our theoretical expectations, we use election surveys and constitutive texts to capture national stories and metanarratives. We find that indeed respondents whose national story is closer to a nation’s metanarrative feel more represented by the political system.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Political Science Review
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • Political representation
  • collective representation
  • metanarratives
  • national identity
  • national stories
  • story similarity


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