ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Why are You Here? Studying the Career Paths of Emigrant Special Representatives in Ecuador

Democracy
Migration
Parliaments
Mobilisation
Empirical
Pau Palop
German Institute of Global And Area Studies
Pau Palop
German Institute of Global And Area Studies

Abstract

Some countries reserve seats in their parliaments for non-resident citizens. To be elected to one of these seats, candidates must be elected by external voters and must themselves be members of the emigrant community. This type of external electoral system is known in the literature as special or discrete emigrant representation. The few studies that exist on the special political representation of emigrants focus on the differences between countries in terms of the number of reserve seats and external districts or the role that special representatives play in the legislative chambers of the homeland. However, if we want to understand the role that the special representation of migrants plays in the mobilization of diasporas, we need to know to what extent the representatives of migrants are in fact an integral part of diasporas. This paper addresses this gap in the literature by analyzing if special systems of representation of emigrants help diaspora communities to achieve political influence in the countries of origin. I argue that this is only possible if the elected emigrants do in fact represent the diasporas and not the interest of the central structures of the political parties and movements to which they belong. In sum, this paper explores whether or not candidates for emigrant seats are co-opted and appointed by central party structures or, instead, become candidates due to their presence and influence among diasporas. To answer this question, I explore the career paths of Ecuadorian candidates running for the emigrants seats in the Ecuadorian National Assembly.