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Immigration and the Boundaries of Citizenship: The Institutions of Immigrants' Political Transnationalism

Jose Itzigsohn
The International Migration Review
Vol. 34, No. 4 (Winter, 2000), pp. 1126-1154
DOI: 10.2307/2675977
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2675977
Page Count: 29
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Immigration and the Boundaries of Citizenship: The Institutions of Immigrants' Political Transnationalism
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Abstract

This article analyzes the emergence and the institutional structure of contemporary immigrants' transnational politics. It poses three questions: 1) How is transnational politics structured? 2) How can we explain the current emergence of transnational political linkages? 3) Who participates and who benefits from political transnationalism. The article focuses on the cases of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and El Salvador and argues that they share an institutional pattern of transnational politics in which there are three main actors: the state apparatus of the country of origin; the political parties of the country of origin; and migrant organizations in the country of reception. The article links the rise of this pattern of transnational politics to the need of the states of origin to guarantee the flow of remittances, the organization of immigrants in the country of reception, and the consolidation of competitive politics in democratic regimes. Although the analysis is based on the experiences of Latin American and Caribbean countries and their emigrants in the United States, the article argues that this institutional pattern may transcend this particular region.

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