By Marcus Carlsen Häggrot
Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 26 (5)

Democracies that appoint legislators through elections in territorially defined, sub-national constituencies and simultaneously enfranchise expatriate citizens must either assign expatriate voters to in-country constituencies (assimilated representation) or group them into distinct overseas constituencies that elect their own legislators (discrete representation). This essay critically reviews extant normative discussions of the two models and develops a normative analysis of its own. This suggests that when expatriates form but a small part of a democracy’s overall demos, discrete representation is the more attractive model of expatriate representation as it overall better satisfies four important standards of evaluation, namely: equal opportunities for political influence, deliberation within the legislature, deliberation among constituents, and partisan voter mobilisation. This argument is also defended against the potential objections that the said standards can be satisfied by other means than discrete expatriate representation and that the defence of discrete expatriate representation implies a proliferation of special constituencies.



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