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THEMIS: The impact of sending states’ transnational policies on migration dynamics: a comparative analysis of South American cases

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Duration: 0:15:38 | Added: 20 Jan 2014
Ana Margheritis presents her paper 'The impact of sending states’ transnational policies on migration dynamics: a comparative analysis of South American cases' in Parallel session III(B) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics: Networks and Beyond

The phenomenon of state-led transnationalism (i.e., the policies and programs that nation-states implement to reach out to their citizens abroad) is relatively under-studied within both migration and international relations studies. Although those policies have expanded lately in all regions, the literature is still overwhelmingly concerned with issues that affect receiving (rather than sending) countries, the economic (rather than political) impact of migration, bottom-up transnational practices and networks, and a few cases.

The mechanisms of transnational policymaking in the migration area, as well as policy impact on migration patterns and migrants’ engagement in the sending and receiving countries, remain largely under-researched. There is also a biased selection of cases that focuses on large and/or politically relevant emigrant communities and transnational practices that are facilitated by geographic proximity between home and host societies. Regarding the Americas, South American cases have been less explored than Mexico and Caribbean countries. In fact, given the unfortunate record of state violence, dramatic economic crises, and recurrent political instability, South American countries can shed light not only on the emergence and maintenance of out-migration patterns but also on the complex, and often conflictive, relationship between migrant associations and state institutions across long distances.

This study assesses the results of recent emigration policies in Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico with an eye on what the outcome tells us about transnational governance. The first three cases have received less scholarly attention than others and are representative of different trends within the region, thus offering the opportunity to expand existing knowledge and revisit critically some assumptions. Mexico provides a good comparative background and long-term historical perspective. The outcomes do not allow for a full comparison or generalizations, but they contribute to specify how transnational policymaking occurs and how new forms of governance are developing in the area of human mobility.

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