Abstract

Comparative studies have shown that, along with individual and group characteristics, the context of settlement and the context of exit influence the political incorporation of migrants in the host country (region/locality). Yet does the context of settlement influence political participation of migrants in the country (region/locality) they left behind? In this article we study electoral participation of Colombian expatriates in their home country by analyzing Colombians’ intentions to participate in the 2010 elections. In order to assess the factors that shape this participation, we analyzed data from a survey of Colombians in five cities in the United States and Europe. We find that individual resources and social capital factors are superseded by motivational, migratory, and institutional (registration) factors. More important for our concern, we also find that the local context in which migrants are embedded creates significant variation in expatriates’ electoral participation.

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