This paper explores the criteria used to determine who can participate in elections in autonomous overseas territories. Through an analysis of two case studies â€“ the New Zealand territory of Cook Islands and French New Caledonia â€“ I draw attention to the particular challenges associated with defining an electoral body in these decolonising contexts. I argue that defining the electoral body is not only contested by political actors in order to obtain victory at the ballot box, but is equally influenced by views of the colonial past and the decolonisation process. These territories show that legal citizenship is not always considered to be a suitable criterion for participation, and indeed that there is sometimes the need to limit suffrage among citizens. In contrast to certain democratic principles of inclusion that call for an expansion of the political community, the small size, geographical distance and cultural difference of these territories often results in local actors calling for a restriction of the electorate to better take into account belonging, rather than affected interests.
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Event||Australian Political Science Association Conference - Canberra University, Australia.|
Duration: 1 Jan 2015 → …
|Conference||Australian Political Science Association Conference|
|Period||1/01/15 → …|