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Discrepant electorates : the inclusiveness of electorates and its impact on the representation of citizens

[working paper]

Caramani, Daniele; Strijbis, Oliver

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Corporate Editor Institut für Höhere Studien (IHS), Wien
Abstract This paper addresses the democratically fundamental question of the inclusiveness of electorates and of its impact on citizens' representation. While the literature has focussed on the congruence between voters and representatives, it has neglected congruence issues between citizens and representatives. The paper investigates comparatively this bias and source of newly disenfranchised citizens in a globalised society with increasing mobility. On the one hand, electoral laws vary in their inclusion or exclusion of expatriates (emigrants) and in the right to vote to non-national residents (immigrants). On the other hand, naturalisation laws vary in the maintenance of nationality for expatriates and in their inclusion of non-national residents. We illustrate levels of 'discrepancy' between electorate and citizenship in 22 OECD countries qualitatively, by presenting differences of electoral and nationality laws, and quantitatively, by comparing the size of citizenship with that of the electorate, and the national and resident populations. We show that shifts between political and national communities are primarily due to naturalisation laws and that electoral laws have so far been unable to correct for the discrepancy.
Keywords citizenship; political participation; voter; voting behavior; electoral law; naturalization; nationality
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords Electorate; Citizenships; Representation; Inclusiveness; Electoral laws; Naturalisation
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
City Wien
Page/Pages 22 p.
Series Reihe Politikwissenschaft / Institut für Höhere Studien, Abt. Politikwissenschaft, 124
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications