Emigration and special representation: Evidence from Ecuadorian living abroad

<p></p><p>Abstract A vast majority of countries worldwide have granted citizenship rights to their emigrants, in particular external voting and dual citizenship. However, there is a relatively new migrant political transnational practice that home-countries are gradually legislating and implementing: special representation, i.e. emigrant political representation in home-country national legislatures. Nowadays, 14 states in Africa, Europe and Latin America extend direct representation rights to their population residing abroad. Special representation is an interesting phenomenon, highly connected with contemporary discussions in the field of migration studies. Up to date a growing number of studies seek to provide explanations on why and how home-countries are adopting it. In this article, we examine the case of the Ecuadorian special representation through a quantitative research design that takes into account the perceptions of the emigrant voters. Our goal is to determine possible correspondences of this transnational policy via the perception of necessity of having seats reserved for Ecuadorians living abroad on the migrant engagement. Findings highlight significant relations between Ecuadorians who have dual citizenship, members of a civil association, and that indicate a willingness to return with the necessity of reserving seats in the National Assembly for the migrant community.</p><p></p>