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Title:International migration, electoral strategies and home country elections
Author(s):Alvarez Mingote, Cristina
Director of Research:Bernhard, William T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Bernhard, William T.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Cheibub, José Antonio; Canache, Damarys J.; Winters, Matthew S
Department / Program:Political Science
Discipline:Political Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):International Migration
Electoral Strategies
Home Country Elections
Abstract:How does international migration affect political parties' electoral strategies in the migrant sending countries? And what is the effect of these electoral strategies on migrant and non-migrant families' electoral choices? These are the two research questions that motivate this project. This dissertation argues that citizens' involvement in international migration has implications not only for their political behavior, but also for overall electoral dynamics in the sending countries. My main contention is that international migration helps political parties to decide who to target during elections. By electoral targeting, I refer to those practices commonly used to get more votes, including: clientelism, home visits and the distribution of promotion and advertising materials. Because exposure to migration fosters political disengagement from domestic politics and makes migrant families more inclined to stay home on election day, these migration-exposed voters are more likely to be electoral targets than similar non-migration-exposed ones. Using individual-level data from Mexico's 2000 and 2006 Presidential elections, results indicate that migration-exposed voters tend to be electoral targets. Moreover, while the incumbent party is one of the key participants in this targeting of migration-exposed voters, opposition parties also engage in the electoral targeting of these voters. Additionally, I claim that political parties are effective in getting migrant as well as non-migrant families' votes on election day. This happens due to political parties' capacity to adapt to the needs of voters and to use varied electoral tactics. Empirically, results indicate that electoral targeting is generally effective among both migrant and non-migrant families. That is, electoral targeting increases in most cases the predicted probability of getting votes from targeted migration and non-migration-exposed voters. These findings also rely on data from Mexico's 2000 and 2006 Presidential elections; and therefore present that Fox and Calderon's victories, in 2000 and 2006 respectively, were in part driven by this electoral targeting. In sum, this dissertation is essential to understanding not only political parties' electoral behavior in response to international migration, but also why migration-exposed and non-migration-exposed voters make certain electoral choices that contribute toward particular electoral outcomes.
Issue Date:2015-04-01
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Cristina Alvarez Mingote
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015

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