Abstract

What variables influence the electoral behaviour of citizens voting in home country elections from abroad? Despite the growing interest of migration scholars for the topic of external voting, this question remains largely unanswered. Basing ourselves on the existing political science literature on electoral behaviour and on the migration literature on immigrants' participation in host country politics, we isolate different hypotheses that explain emigrants' preferences in home country politics. We then build four models of voters based on these hypotheses: the social group voter, the ideological voter, the interest-driven voter, and the transnational voter. In the second part of the paper, we verify the validity of these models using the results of a survey carried out with Bolivian emigrants who took part in the 2009 Bolivian presidential election from abroad. Overall, this article identifies the drivers of immigrant transnational political participation and contributes to current debates on social remittances.

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