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“Uruguay somos todos” (We are All Uruguay): Political Engagement with Home Politics among Uruguayans abroad

Citizenship
Migration
Political Participation
Qualitative
Ana Margheritis
CONICET/Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Ana Margheritis
CONICET/Universidad Torcuato Di Tella

Abstract

What motivates diasporas to engage politically in origin countries and how do emigrants construct their sense of inclusion/exclusion in home politics? The literature documents considerable variation in mobilization within and across emigrant communities, as well as the difficulties of accounting for both individual and aggregate variables while capturing the meaning of ‘politics’ in emigrants’ views. This study explores mobilization dynamics of Uruguayans abroad who, unlike other South American diasporas, have mobilized transnationally to advance a number of claims at home. It shows that activism varies considerably across destination sites and takes diverse forms. Its effectiveness has been partial, though, especially concerning the controversial issue of emigrant enfranchisement. Building upon qualitative methods, the analysis offers novel evidence on a relatively under-researched diaspora, while contributing to broader debates on why engagement from abroad may remain ambivalent and fragmented, albeit intense and highly politicized.