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HomeThe African Diaspora and Political Engagement

The African Diaspora and Political Engagement

Engagement politique des diasporas africaines

Migrant Voting Behavior

Le comportement électoral des migrants

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Published on Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Abstract

Studies devoted to the relationship of immigrants to politics have gradually started to unearth unheeded, even unknown swaths of political practices and know-how. Attesting to the prominence of the assimilationist model in migration studies, such studies have long focused exclusively on the political integration of migrants within their countries of residence. The recent diffusion of the transnational paradigm across the social sciences has helped to revitalize this approach. This shift has allowed researchers specialized in migration studies to break free from methodological nationalism and thus pave the way for an investigation of migrant participation in political life in both their countries of residence and countries of origin.

Announcement

Argument

Studies devoted to the relationship of immigrants to politics have gradually started to unearth unheeded, even unknown swaths of political practices and know-how. Attesting to the prominence of the assimilationist model in migration studies, such studies have long focused exclusively on the political integration of migrants within their countries of residence. The recent diffusion of the transnational paradigm across the social sciences has helped to revitalize this approach. This shift has allowed researchers specialized in migration studies to break free from methodological nationalism and thus pave the way for an investigation of migrant participation in political life in both their countries of residence and countries of origin.

Increasingly, countries of origin grant double nationality, dual citizenship and voting rights to non-resident citizens, bolstering diaspora participation in political life. Since 1991, the number of countries that have facilitated the ability to cast absentee votes has multiplied four-fold, rising from almost 30 to more than 100 by the end of the 2000s. In Africa alone, more than half of the countries allow citizens living abroad to vote in national elections.

Most research on external voting has centered on countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Mexico and the Dominican Republic), Europe (Italy and Portugal), and Asia (the Philippines). However, the historical, political and social conditions that enfranchise the African diaspora have received less attention.

This special issue of Afrique Contemporaine proposes to present pioneering works by historians, political scientists and sociologists specialized in studying the African continent, focusing on migrants abroad voting in the elections of their country of origin.

Topics

The following list presents some but not all of the topics suitable for this edition:

(1.) Modalities for “absentee voting” or “external voting”

What relationships can we draw between external voting and political changes, such as “democratic transitions”, post-conflict situations, and revolutions like “The Arab Spring”?

What is the history of external voting’s implementation?

What typology(s) of external voting systems may be drawn?

What are the practical obstacles and implied costs of absentee-voter registration and voting for States and potential voters?

(2.) Political mobilization: Electoral and non-electoral practices

To what extent does African diaspora political engagement correlate with other types of engagement — for example, with civic associations or trade unions?

What is the role of local grass-roots organizations?

How are electoral campaigns conducted abroad?

What possible links exist between voting in national versus local elections?

(3.) Voters, candidates and elected officials

What are the social and demographic characteristics of first- or second-generation immigrant voters?

To what extent do “external” voters make the same electoral choices as “internal” ones, all other things being equal?

What effects do emigration and socialization in the residence country have upon voting practices, outcomes, and political engagement in general?

Do we need to make a distinction between the diaspora within and outside Africa?

If we use prosopography to analyze candidates and elected officials in national and local elections, can we discern an impact from the intensified migratory flows of recent decades?

(4.) Monetary remittances and social remittances

How far can the expansion of diaspora voting rights allow us to rethink the relationship between monetary and social remittances?

Do the monetary remittances from migrants to families left behind affect the latter’s voting behavior?

How much and under what conditions can we see migrant voting behavior influenced by families left behind?

(5.) Methodologies

What scales of analysis are relevant in examining external voting?

How can we frame the question of context, e.g., family, friends, colleagues, party and associative networks, etc., in the local and transnational perspectives that characterize external voting?

How can we remedy the lack of homogeneity and reliability of statistics on migrations?

COUNTRIES

Except for Mali, Senegal and Tunisia, which the editors of this special issue will address themselves, all African countries, from Egypt to North Africa to sub-Saharan Africa, are eligible; articles may focus on a single country or compare several.

Timeline

This special issue has the following timeline:

  • Interested authors will submit a one-page précis, describing the topic, argument outline (in brief), and the relevant data or fieldwork;

submissions are due by 20 January 2015.

  • The editors will select article topics and authors by 10 February 2015.
  • Selected authors must submit a first draft of their articles by 1 June 2015.
  • The special issue will be published in the 4th quarter of 2015. 

In their published versions, the articles will have one of two formats: 

Most articles will be 35-40,000 characters in length, including spaces, footnotes and bibliography. 

Articles of 8-10,000 characters in length, including spaces, footnotes and bibliography, will also be welcome if they address countries less covered by the extant literature, in particular those where data have been scarce. 

We especially welcome articles that feature maps, drawings, chronologies and photos. 

Each article will be blind peer-reviewed by two anonymous referees, the Afrique Contemporaine editorial board and the special issue editors. 

Submission guidelines

Please submit your response to this call for papers via our online Editorial Manager: http://www.editorialmanager.com/afriquecontemporaine/ 

For questions or clarifications, contact  Etienne Smith (Sciences Po) etienne.smith@sciencespo.fr and Isabelle Fortuit (Afrique contemporaine) fortuiti@afd.fr

Edition

  • Jean-Philippe Dedieu,
  • Thibaut Jaulin
  • Etienne Smith 

Indicative Bibliography 

  • Bauböck, Rainer (2007) Stakeholder citizenship and transnational political participation: a normative evolution of external voting, Fordham Law Review, 75(5), pp. 2393-2447.
  • Brand, Laurie A. (2010) Authoritarian states and voting from abroad, Comparative Politics, 43(1), pp. 81-99.
  • Brand, Laurie A., (2014) Arab uprisings and the changing frontiers of transnational citizenship: voting from abroad in political transitions, Political Geography, 41, pp. 54-63.
  • Calderón Chelius, Leticia (2003) Votar en la distancia. La extensión de los derechos políticos a migrantes, experiencias comparadas, Mexico: Instituto Mora and Coordinacion General para la atencion al migrante Michoacano.
  • Collyer, Micheal and Zana Vathi (2007) Patterns of extra-territorial voting, Working paper T22, Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty, University of Sussex.
  • Dedieu Jean-Philippe, Lisa Chauvet, Flore Gubert, Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, and Etienne Smith (2013) The "battles" of Paris and New York. An analysis of transnational electoral behaviour among Senegalese migrants in France and the United States, Revue française de science politique, 63(5), pp. 53-80.
  • Dedieu, Jean Philippe (2013) Mali’s scattered democracy. How migrants from Paris to Guangzhou influence the vote, Foreign Affairs, August 2013.
  • Docquier, Frédéric, Elisabetta Lodigiani, Hillel Rapoport, and Maurice Schiff (2011) Emigration and democracy, IZA DP, n° 5496, Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor.
  • Gallagher, Dennis and Anna Schowengerdt (1998) Participation of Refugees in Postconflict Elections. In Krishna Kumar (ed) Postconflict Elections, Democratization, and International Assistance, pp. 195-213. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
  • IDEA and IFE (eds) (2007) Voting from Abroad. The International IDEA Handbook, Stockholm and Mexico City: IDEA and IFE.
  • Itzigsohn, Jose and Daniela Villacrés (2008) Migrant political transnationalism and the practice of democracy: Dominican external voting rights and Salvadoran home town associations, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 31(4), pp. 664-686.
  • Itzigsohn, Jose (2000) Immigration and the boundaries of citizenship: the institutions of immigrants’ political transnationalism, International Migration Review, 34, pp. 1126-1154.
  • Jaulin, Thibaut (2014) Les territoires du vote à distance: l’élection tunisienne de 2011 à l’étranger, Espace politiques, 23(2).
  • Lafleur, Jean Michel (2013) Transnational Politics and the State. The External Voting Rights of Diaspora, New York and London: Routledge.
  • Laguerre, Michel (1999) State, diaspora, and transnational politics: Haiti reconceptualised, Millenium, 28, pp. 633-51.
  • Levitt, Peggy (1998) Social remittances: Migration driven local-level forms of cultural diffusion, The International Migration Review, 32, pp. 926-48.
  • Østergaard-Nielsen, Eva (2003) Transnational Politics. Turks and Kurds in Germany. London: Routledge.
  • Rhodes, Sybil and Arus Harutyunyan (2010) Extending citizenship to emigrants: democratic contestation and a new global norm, International Political Science Review, 31, pp. 470-93.
  • Rubio-Marín, Ruth (2006) Transnational politics and the democratic nation-state: normative challenges of expatriate voting and nationality retention of emigrants, New York University Law Review, 81, pp. 117-47.
  • Wimmer, Andreas and Nina Glick Schiller (2003) Methodological nationalism, the social sciences, and the study of migration: an essay in historical epistemology, International Migration Review, 37(3), pp. 576-610.

Date(s)

  • Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Keywords

  • Afrique contemporaine, mobilisation politiques, électeur, élu, diaspora, migrant

Contact(s)

  • Isabelle Fortuit
    courriel : afcontemporaine [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Isabelle Fortuit
    courriel : afcontemporaine [at] gmail [dot] com

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The African Diaspora and Political Engagement », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, November 25, 2014, https://doi.org/10.58079/rj4

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