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Political Mobilization Towards Home: A Cross-movement and Cross-context Comparison of Catalan and Spanish Emigrants

Migration
Social Movements
Mobilisation
Seda Aydın
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Seda Aydın
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Joan Coma Roura
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Eva Ostergaard-Nielsen
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Evren Yalaz
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Abstract

This paper aims to explore dynamics of emigrants’ transnational political mobilization through studying collective claims-making of Spanish citizens residing in four different European cities (London, Paris, Berlin, and Brussels) towards their homeland. By focusing on two transnational organizations -Assemblea Nacional Catalana and Marea Granate- formed by Spanish/Catalan emigrants at around the same time, it examines how and why emigrants’ political mobilization towards their homeland takes place at different levels of intensity, follows different strategies, and produces different responses from home and host country political actors. Comparative studies on migrant transnationalism have often inquired either a single movement in multiple contexts or multiple mobilizations in a single context. While movement-centric approaches have prioritized the effects of groups’ resources, organizational structure, and pursued goals; cross-context studies have examined the role of existing opportunities in different contexts. This paper aims to make a contribution to the field by inquiring how cross-movement and cross-context based factors come together and shape the dynamics of emigrants’ movements. We propose that opportunities provided by home and host contexts are not fixed, but take different forms and levels depending on characteristics of migrant movements. Emigrant groups are not passive in this process, but strive to exceed the surrounding constraints by tapping into different resources at local, national, and transnational levels, forming different alliances, and searching for public visibility through innovative strategies. Our empirical research draws on political claims analysis of two organizations retrieved from home and host country press and social media and in-depth interviews with organization leaders.