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Descriptive and Substantive Representation of Non-resident Citizens in the Parliaments of Ecuador and Colombia

Elites
Latin America
Migration
Parliaments
Representation
Candidate
Pau Palop
German Institute of Global And Area Studies
Pau Palop
German Institute of Global And Area Studies

Abstract

In recent years, Colombia and Ecuador have modified the composition of their legislative bodies in order to incorporate non-resident nationals elected in districts located outside their national borders. While the literature on political representation has already addressed the study of immigrant representatives in the legislative houses of the states of reception, studies focused on the representation of non-resident citizens in the parliaments of the states of origin are still missing. This paper aims at filling this gap in the literature of transnationalism and political representation by analyzing the relationship between the descriptive and substantive dimensions of the emigrant representation in the parliaments of their states of origin. The analysis compares the legislative work of emigrant MPs (i.e. participation in legislative committees and parliamentary initiatives) with the legislative work of non-emigrant MPs in Ecuador and Colombia. These cases are selected based on their different conceptions of non-resident special representation. In Colombia, the impact of the emigrant community is 'contained' in two deputies, whereas in Ecuador non-resident citizens are represented proportionally with six MPs in the Ecuadorian House of Representatives.