Voting here and there: political integration and transnational political engagement among immigrants in Europe

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In this article, I examine voting patterns in origin and receiving country national elections among immigrants in Europe. The existing scholarship on transnational political engagement offers two competing interpretations of the relationship between immigrant integration and transnational engagement, which I classify as the resocialization and complementarity perspectives. The resocialization perspective assumes that transnational political engagement gradually declines as immigrants become socialized into the new receiving society. Conversely, the complementarity perspective assumes that immigrant integration increases transnational political engagement. I test these competing perspectives with survey data collected between 2004 and 2008 for 12 different immigrant groups residing in seven European cities. The analysis examines how immigrant political and civic participation in receiving countries affect their proclivities to vote in homeland elections. I also analyse the effects of receiving and origin country contexts on immigrant voting behaviour in homeland elections. While my findings support both the resocialization and complementarity perspectives, they also highlight the ways in which a set of origin-country contexts shape immigrant propensities to engage in transnational electoral politics. I observe a degree of complementarity among immigrants with resources who are motivated and eligible to participate in both receiving and origin-country elections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-460
Number of pages24
JournalGlobal Networks
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)




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