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"Making Democracy Work from Abroad? The Political Consequences of Migrant Cross-Border Participation and Democratic Governance in Mexico"

Talk by Lauren Duquette (UC Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA)

Friday, April 20, 2012
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Haines 279, UCLA

The dual trends of globalization and decentralization create opportunities for new interactions between government actors and “citizens” – territorial and transnational citizens alike. For many of the 200 million migrants that currently live abroad, the decision to exit their country of origin does not preclude social, economic and political participation in the affairs of their hometowns. I study a particular kind of cross-border migrant participation, the coproduction of public goods. Mobilized by the collective remittances of migrant hometown associations (HTAs) and the complementary resources of public agencies in the migrant sending state, migrant HTAs and government authorities conjointly provide public goods in migrants’ communities of origin. While the transnationalism literature is rich and routinely investigates various types of migrant cross-border participation, to date there is very little research on the political consequences of migrants’ collective participation in their hometowns. This study makes a theoretical contribution by providing an analytic framework to explain the structural variation in transnational coproduction sensitive to the evolving agency of multiple actors (migrants, political authorities, and local citizens) and the dynamic effects on local politics. Using original quantitative and qualitative data based on extended fieldwork in Mexico and a national survey instrument, I also fill an empirical gap. I show how structural features of different coproduction processes including migrant social networks and the structure of the local state apparatus improve (and stymie) local democratic governance and state-society relations across Mexican localities.  

Download file: Abroad-s3-0yu.pdf

Sponsor(s): Center for Mexican Studies, Program on International Migration

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