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Into Homeland Politics: Diaspora and (Non-)Electoral Participation

Citizenship
Migration
Representation
Voting
Mobilisation
Political Engagement
Sorina Soare
Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali, Università di Firenze
Sorina Soare
Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali, Università di Firenze
Sebastián Umpierrez de Reguero
European University Institute

Abstract

Countries worldwide have gradually granted political rights to non-resident citizens. On this ground, existing literature has been chronicling non-resident citizens’ participation in political parties and civil society organizations abroad, alongside their loyalty and dissent concerning decision-making processes at home. In particular, scholars have examined migrants’ strategies to influence homeland politics via electoral mobilization and through non-electoral modes of political engagement (e.g., protests, demonstrations, boycotts, petitions, political consumption, street parties and artistic expressions), as well as the role of transnational networks across different host countries regarding political mobilization. Ranging from political parties’ responsiveness to diaspora demands, to linkages between migrant civil organizations and external voting, as well as to assessing public opinion on diaspora engagement in homeland politics, this paper proposes a novel typology connecting the relation between migrants’ mobilization and homeland politics. We put together two theoretical frameworks—political transnationalism as well as political participation and civic engagement—that comprises various anglesof migrants’ political participation and representation at both the individual and collective (aggregate) level. Employing structural equation modeling we apply our typology to an empirical exercise and, as such, offer a replicable model measuring migrants’ participation in homeland politics.