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Parliamentary representation of overseas territories in the metropolis: A comparative analysis


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Peter Clegg
Dean and Head of School of Social Sciences

Marie Staehr Harder


Rafael Cox Alomar


The consequences of ‘Brexit’ are many, and one that is little discussed is the reigniting of the debate as to whether Britain’s Overseas Territories (BOTs) should have direct representation within the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament; presently they do not. Proponents suggest that this would strengthen the territories’ voice in, and links with, Britain. The article considers this debate by drawing on some of the extant literature on what constitutes a demos, as well as descriptive representation, and the experiences of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Åland, and Puerto Rico, which do have direct representation in their respective metropolitan parliaments. The article suggests that although there are strong normative arguments for such representation, the mixed record of the territories featured does not offer compelling evidence that a change for the BOTs would bring about significant improvements in how their interests are represented and defended.


Clegg, P., Harder, M. S., Nauclér, E., & Cox Alomar, R. (2022). Parliamentary representation of overseas territories in the metropolis: A comparative analysis. Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 60(3), 229–253.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 18, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 7, 2022
Publication Date 2022-08
Deposit Date Jun 7, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2022
Journal Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
Print ISSN 1466-2043
Electronic ISSN 1743-9094
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 60
Issue 3
Pages 229–253
Keywords Parliamentary representation; British overseas territories; metropolis; comparative analysis; Parliamentary representation; Faroe Islands; Greenland; Åland; Puerto Rico
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