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New IMI Working Paper on Immigrant Political Integration and Transnational Politics by Dr. Ali R. Chaudhary

Transnational politics and political integration among migrants in Europe

Why do some migrants vote in their countries of destination while others vote in the elections of their origin countries? Existing literature on migrant politics is divided into studies of political participation in receiving countries and transnational politics with migrant homelands. This separation conceals the extent to which receiving and origin-country electoral politics reflect two different processes. In this paper, I investigate whether the determinants of migrant voting in receiving and origin countries differ and the relationship between receiving and origin country voting. I emphasise how migrants are embedded in multi-layered contexts by analysing the effects of country-level contextual factors on the odds of voting in receiving and origin country national elections. Using random sample survey data representative at the local-city level from the LOCALMULTIDEM dataset (2004–2008), this study offers the first quantitative cross-national analysis of the determinants of migrants’ receiving and origin country voting across Europe. Findings reveal the determinants of voting ‘here’ and ‘there’ do in fact vary. However, immigrants who vote in destination country elections are also likely to vote in homeland elections – suggesting that politically motivated immigrants may vote ‘here’ and ‘there’. This research contributes to existing literature by offering comparative evidence revealing a cross-border simultaneity inherent in migrants’ electoral political agency.

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