Despite the potential ambiguity, "territorial representation" seems to be a generic term used for this (see quotes toward the end of my post).
In the US, the equal territorial (=state) representation in the Senate is known as the Connecticut Compromise
The Connecticut Compromise (also known as the Great Compromise of 1787 or Sherman Compromise) was an agreement that large and small states reached during the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that in part defined the legislative structure and representation that each state would have under the United States Constitution. It retained the bicameral legislature as proposed by Roger Sherman, along with proportional representation of the states in the lower house, but required the upper house to be weighted equally among the states. Each state would have two representatives in the upper house.
Also, this form of compromise is rather common in other federations with bicameral legislature:
A federal upper house may be based on a special scheme of apportionment, as is the case in the senates of the United States and Australia, where each state is represented by an equal number of senators irrespective of the size of its population.
Alternatively, or in addition to this practice, the members of an upper house may be indirectly elected by the government or legislature of the component states, as occurred in the United States prior to 1913, or be actual members or delegates of the state governments, as, for example, is the case in the German Bundesrat and in the Council of the European Union.
In Canadian terminology, the concept is known as "intrastate federalism"
Provision for the designated representation of distinct regional views within the federal policy-making institution, usually provided by the particular form of the federal second chamber.
In that context, it is contrasted with interstate federalism, which refers to the relationship between the federal government and those of the states.
• Intrastate Federalism:
The representation of the units of the federation within the
national government (e.g. US Senate – 2 Senators from each State) – Constitution ensures Provincial Representation in Senate and House
of Commons – Convention of regional balance in Cabinet [...]
• Interstate Federalism:
Interactions between Federal and Provincial gov’ts
– Joint programs
– Bureaucratic linkages and consultations
– Integration of Tax system
– First Ministers’ Conferences
• Interstate federalism functions more smoothly, or there is
simply less need for it, if intrastate mechanisms are
legitimate and effective.
And if you are curious about equal vs non-equal representation of states in the upper house, again from a Canadian source, but which does pan out to a worldwide survey....
While equality of provincial representation in the Senate has not been suggested in
every past constitutional proposal, it has certainly been the option of choice for latter-day
reformers. (See Appendix 14, Senate Composition Schemes). Opinion-leaders like the Canada
West Foundation (1981), the Alberta Legislature (1985) and Premier Clyde Wells (1989) all
proposed equal provincial representation in a reformed Senate of Canada. The fact that the most
consensus-oriented constitutional agreement of the last century, the Charlottetown Accord,
featured equality of provincial representation in the reformed Senate as a basic principle, was
The reasons for this are not hard to imagine. Populist reformers in Canada were heavily
influenced by American representation theory. The founding of the American federation was
greatly aided by the “Connecticut Compromise,” which joined representation by population
(in the House) to equality of regional representation (in the Senate). This institutionalized
system of countervailing power has seemed fair to Canadian reformers, especially those who
reside in less populated provinces. Another reason is that the imbalance of (population-based)
representation in the Commons is so glaring that there is little apparent incentive for governing
parties based largely on representatives from Ontario and Quebec to pay much attention to the
needs of the western and eastern provinces. Yet another is that the idea is simplicity itself, and Federal Representation of the People and Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
simple solutions are appealing in a political system that seems to thrive on preserving arcane
and complicated political forms.
As for other countries, there are differences of opinion. Ron Watts noted that equality of
representation of the component units is the exception rather than the rule in federations, at
least in the 10 federations he studied (See Appendix 15). However, our review shows that, if
more recent data are considered and a larger number of federations (21) is considered, equality
of regional representation is more the norm than is inequality (See Appendix 16). This is in
spite of the fact that there are significant variations in the populations of most of the states or
provinces in countries with federal systems. In Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria,
Russia, South Africa, USA, and Yugoslavia, for example, there is equality in the representation
for the elected part of the Upper House but there are vast inequalities in state populations.
So if we were to extract some generic terminology from this, it could be "equality of regional representation", although I guess this phrase could also mean other things in other contexts.
Or more generally (i.e. not necessarily equal representation) "(second) chambers based on territorial representation". This concept can in turn be further subdivided in
regional representation or direct government representation [of the regional governments], as well as mixed systems of these two flavors.
For the regional principle to prevail, seats do not have to be allocated equally
across regions. What matters is the principle that is articulated in the
constitution and the extent of disproportionality between seats and population.
Where the constitutional principle is explicitly territorial this meets the criterion
even if regions happen to be represented in rough proportion to their
population. A rule of thumb for territorial representation is where the
disproportion of seats per voter exceeds 5.0 between the most and least
The German Bundesrat establishes regions as the unit of representation even
though the number of seats per Land ranges from three to six. Each Land has at
least three votes, and most have more in line with a constitutionally mandated
population rule that gives four seats to Länder with more than two million
inhabitants, five seats to Länder with more than six million, and six seats to
Länder with more than seven million. The disproportion of seats to population
across Länder reaches a whopping 1:13. This compares with less than 1:3 for the
Italian senate. Between 1997 and 2006 each Thai changwat received between
one and four seats in the senate which yields a disproportion of 1:3.5 between
the most and least represented region. This is a gray case, [...] given that the
Thai constitution does not articulate the territorial principle [...]
[As for a mixed example:] Since 1995, the Belgian senate comprises
three kinds of community representatives: forty directly elected senators,
twenty-one indirectly elected community senators, plus ten senators selected by
these groups. The community senators are selected on the principle of regional
representation (the Flemish and Francophone communities each have ten seats
with one seat for the tiny German-speaking community) and they serve as
delegates of the communities.
Also, this source notes a trend:
Most upper chambers
came to serve as bulwarks against the principle of one citizen, one vote. They
were conservative, sometimes reactionary, bodies representing the
aristocracy, the church, corporatist groups, or territorial communities with premodern
roots. Upper houses are in decline. Thirty-six of the eighty-one countries
we observe had a bicameral parliament in 2010, whereas forty-three countries
had one at the time they enter the dataset. Nineteen of these upper chambers
represent territorial communities in 2010. [...]
The "territorial representation" terminology seems reasonably widespread with this meaning, e.g.
A key feature of federal systems is the representation of subnational units by “territorial representatives” in policymaking at the federal level. [...] To be clear, by territorial representation, I refer to the representation of subnational units or states in political decision making at the federal level by regionally, (in)directly elected “territorial representatives.” Territorial representation is typically a core element of the definition of federalism (e.g., Wibbels 2005, 26) and is prominently associated with state representatives in an upper chamber of the national legislature.
Unfortunately, for other authors, the term "territorial representation" seems to mean simple districting, which may easily change:
Both ethnofederalism and territorial political
representation are institutional solutions to minority
representation that depend on the creation
of intra-state boundaries. Ethnofederal systems
accommodate minority interests by creating substate
jurisdictions (regions, provinces, etc.) dominated
by a particular ethnic group and by dividing
political sovereignty between a central state and
regional jurisdictions (Smith, 1995). Ethnofederalism
carries the danger, however, that such institutional
divisions will reinforce ethnically defined
political conflict, leading to conflict, secession,
civil war, and perhaps ethnic cleansing (Bunce,
1999; Hale, 2004).
Territorial representation is a less drastic
approach because it does not necessarily mean the
creation of (relatively) fixed and permanent boundaries,
or a division of sovereignty. The United
States and the UK, for example, periodically adjust
the boundaries of election districts, and (in the
United States) do so to further minority representation.
In contrast, South Africa dealt with the
problem of minority representation during its transition
from apartheid by established (relatively)
fixed provincial boundaries used for national elections,
but without a strong federal system. Finally,
the post-invasion administration in Iraq rejected
the use of sub-national electoral boundaries in an
attempt to emphasize the territorial integrity of the
state and to facilitate a favorable level of minority
This latter paper seems to have a gap in its classification, in that it doesn't seem to consider federal systems that aren't strongly set up on ethnic lines, yet nonetheless have internal boundaries (e.g. US state borders) that are not easy to change.