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Transnational Militancy: Diaspora Influence over Electoral Activity in Latin America

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Politicians in many countries campaign among citizens residing abroad, even though migrants have extremely low rates of participation or, in some cases, no right to vote at all. What benefit, then, does a foreign-residing, non-voting electorate provide parties? Politicians interviewed in Mexico, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic express belief that migrants influence the votes of relatives in their home countries by sending remittances. Using a series of hierarchical models, I test whether this is true, by estimating the effect of having U.S.-residing relatives on a set of seven political activities of Latin American voters. I find migrants do influence their relatives; however, this influence does not affect basic level voter participation, but rather reinforces existing partisan sympathies and motivates activities typical of party militants.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2017

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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