Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Juridical Science


Arlene Kanter



Subject Categories



This research examines the effect of the right to legislative representation for people with disabilities in the fields of Political Science and Law through a combination of doctrinal analysis and interviews with 12 individuals with disabilities. These individuals are disability rights advocates, politicians, and leaders of disability organizations from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Egypt, which are the only jurisdictions that have constitutionally recognized descriptive representation of people with disabilities in their legislatures. The research investigates the legal issues and challenges that people with disabilities face in achieving descriptive representation in their legislatures. Additionally, the research identifies gaps and deficiencies in the current "Descriptive Representation" model developed by the field of Political Science, which has failed to ensure comprehensive parliamentary inclusion for people with disabilities. In response to these findings, a refined model called "Approval Representation" is introduced. This model capitalizes on the strengths of Descriptive Representation while addressing its weaknesses, with the ultimate goal of achieving parliamentary inclusion for people with disabilities. The overarching goal of this project is, therefore, to elevate the right to descriptive representation for disabled people, a group right recognized under international human rights law, and to ensure equitable descriptive representation for persons with disabilities in their respective parliaments.


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Available for download on Sunday, June 14, 2026

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