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See detailDiaspora Contributions to Democratic Processes at Home: The External Vote of Andean Migrants
Bermudez Torres, Anastasia ULg; Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

Conference (2015, June 22)

This paper focuses on the external vote and wider transnational political participation of Andean migrants from Colombia and Bolivia. Its main aim is to discuss the contributions of these diasporas to ... [more ▼]

This paper focuses on the external vote and wider transnational political participation of Andean migrants from Colombia and Bolivia. Its main aim is to discuss the contributions of these diasporas to democratic and wider political processes in the home countries. The two cases considered offer a good opportunity to do so, since in the last few decades they have put forward new mechanisms for the political inclusion of their nationals abroad, but in different historical, socioeconomic and political contexts. Key amongst these initiatives has been the extension of voting rights to nationals abroad. One of the objectives is thus to compare the different reasons and mechanisms used by states to implement external voting policies, as well as migrant participation in elections. Migrants from the three countries have participated to a lesser or greater degree in the development of such policies and the practice of voting from abroad. A comparison of their participation rates in each case and the reasons for voting or not might allow us to find out more about the success or failure of such processes. Equally, different governments, parties and other state and political institutions in the home countries have related differently to the diasporas, often based on the supposed political allegiances or ideological inclinations of these groups. Based on all this, the two national communities abroad studied have played different roles in key recent political processes in their home countries, such as the emergence of an ethno- nationalist-left government in Bolivia, and efforts for greater democracy and the end of the armed conflict in Colombia. This paper is based on quantitative and qualitative data, as well as secondary information, obtained by the authors through different research projects carried out over the last few years with migrants from the two countries studied. The text looks next at the theoretical framework for the research, before analysing in detail the two cases considered. The last develops a comparative discussion and presents concluding perspectives. [less ▲]

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See detailAccess to Electoral Rights Bolivia
Zegada, Maria Teresa; Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

E-print/Working paper (2015)

The issue of passive and active electoral rights in Bolivia has gone through various phases that are examined in details in this article. Universal suffrage in Bolivia occurred around the same time as in ... [more ▼]

The issue of passive and active electoral rights in Bolivia has gone through various phases that are examined in details in this article. Universal suffrage in Bolivia occurred around the same time as in most states in that region: in the middle of the 20th century. The next wave of reforms occurred during the 1980s when dictatorships were removed from power. At that time, processes of democratization intensified in Bolivia and other parts of Latin America, eventually leading to the progressive strengthening of democratic institutions. It is really during the 1990s and early 2000s that the most important democratic transformations occurred. Major institutional reforms were passed during this period in particular to increase the participation of women and indigenous peoples in public affairs. The inclusion of the principles of gender equality and interculturality in the new constitution of 2009 is one of the clearest sign of this new approach. Similarly, another sector of the Bolivian population that had been traditionally prevented from exercising political rights. that is, Bolivians residing abroad have been closely attended to by the Evo Morales government since 2006. After the first external voting experience in 2009, the system was once again reformed to enable greater participation from abroad in the 2014 presidential election. These elements confirm that the extension of political rights in Bolivia is a process that has gone trough major changes over the past two decades but remains a work in process. [less ▲]

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See detailTransnational Health Insurance Schemes: A New Avenue for Congolese Immigrants in Belgium to Care for Their Relatives’ Health from Abroad?
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg; Lizin, Olivier

E-print/Working paper (2015)

What can immigrants do for non-migrant relatives in their home country who need healthcare they cannot afford? To answer this question, we first examine four existing methods that can be found in the ... [more ▼]

What can immigrants do for non-migrant relatives in their home country who need healthcare they cannot afford? To answer this question, we first examine four existing methods that can be found in the existing literature: mobility, remittances, workers’ health insurance and diasporic health insurance. In the second part of the paper, we discuss an innovative strategy called “transnational health insurance” (THI). These insurance schemes are set up by immigrants in cooperation with a multitude of actors including health insurance companies in destination countries and healthcare providers in countries origin. THIs offer health coverage to non-migrant relatives in the home country based on a premium paid directly by immigrants to the insurance company in their country of residence. Analyzing the creation and implementation of Belgian-Congolese THIs, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these schemes in responding to the needs of both immigrants and their non-migrant relatives. The article concludes with a discussion on the specificities of THIs as hybrid forms of remittances. [less ▲]

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See detailTransnational Politics as Cultural Circulation: Toward a Conceptual Understanding of Migrant Political Participation on the Move
Boccagni, Paolo; Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg; Levitt, Peggu

in Mobilities (2015)

This article contributes to the burgeoning literature on transnational politics by bringing tools used by scholars of cultural diffusion and circulation into these debates. We build on research on social ... [more ▼]

This article contributes to the burgeoning literature on transnational politics by bringing tools used by scholars of cultural diffusion and circulation into these debates. We build on research on social remittances and their potential to yield broader and deeper effects or to ‘scale up’ and ‘scale out.’ Based on a variety of empirical examples, we propose that processes such as circulation, portability, and contact, viewed through a transnational optic, help to nuance recent research on political transnationalism and its empirical indicators – including, most notably, external voting. [less ▲]

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See detailThe enfranchisement of citizens abroad: variations and explanations
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

in Democratization (2015)

Today, a large majority of states allow at least some of their emigrants to take part in home country elections from abroad. This article first looks at the diffusion of external voting laws and shows ... [more ▼]

Today, a large majority of states allow at least some of their emigrants to take part in home country elections from abroad. This article first looks at the diffusion of external voting laws and shows that over the past 25 years they have become widely-adopted and are no longer limited to specific professional categories of citizens. Second, the article explains the international diffusion of external voting by discussing the “norm- internationalization hypothesis” and the “electoral-competition hypothesis.” Third, the article attempts to demonstrate that these hypotheses cannot explain why, in a democratic context, states continue to implement a series of hurdles that deter emigrants from using their newly gained rights. Looking at recent developments in Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa, it concludes that the diffusion and variations of external voting laws result from transnational negotiation processes in a context of democratic transformation among various actors whose interests are strongly affected by the inclusion or exclusion of these new voters. [less ▲]

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See detailEl impacto de las migraciones cochabambinas en el marco de las transformaciones globales de las migraciones
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg; Ledo, Carmen; Yepez, Isabel

in Solé, Carlota; Parella, Sonia; Cavalcanti, Leonardo (Eds.) Migración boliviana y prácticas transnacionales (2014)

¿Donde se ubica Bolivia en los cambios migratorios de la era global caracterizados por sus vínculos transnacionales? Para responder esta pregunta, se investiga el caso de los emigrantes procedentes de la ... [more ▼]

¿Donde se ubica Bolivia en los cambios migratorios de la era global caracterizados por sus vínculos transnacionales? Para responder esta pregunta, se investiga el caso de los emigrantes procedentes de la ciudad de Cochabamba. En esta ciudad, en marzo del 2009 el CEPLAG-CIUF, realizamos una encuesta de gran amplitud con el propósito de entender las diversas facetas de las migraciones cochabambinas contemporáneas y determinar cómo estas se relacionan con las tendencias globales que acabamos de destacar . Los resultados de dicha encuesta son la base de este artículo. En vista de los requerimientos estadísticos y analíticos del estudio, para realizar la encuesta se visitaron alrededor de 40 mil predios y se encuestaron 15 400 mil hogares. Un tercio de los hogares encuestados declaró tener al menos un familiar en el extranjero. Estos hogares se denominan en este artículo “hogares transmigrantes”. [less ▲]

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See detailThe political choices of emigrants voting in home country elections: A socio-political analysis of the electoral behaviour of Bolivian external voters
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg; Sanchez-Dominguez, Maria

in Migration Studies (2014)

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 ... [more ▼]

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. [less ▲]

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See detailLondon or New York? Mobility Options of Young Belgians in Times of Crises
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

Conference (2013, September 26)

Since the beginning of the financial and economic crisis, Belgium has experienced a new influx of Southern European immigration while continuing to receive large numbers EU citizens proceeding from ... [more ▼]

Since the beginning of the financial and economic crisis, Belgium has experienced a new influx of Southern European immigration while continuing to receive large numbers EU citizens proceeding from Central and Eastern European Member States. This reality is however hiding the fact that, simultaneously, a large number of Belgian citizens continue to leave the country every year. Belgian emigration has indeed tripled between 1970 and 2011 and nowadays about 35.000 citizens leave the country every year. Despite the increase in the number of Belgian pensioners retiring abroad, the modal age of departure remains low (26 years old). In this paper, I propose to examine two related questions on the emigration of young Belgians. First, what are the motivations of young Belgians to leave their home country today even though Belgium seems to be resisting better than most Member States to the economic crisis? Second, what drives Belgian emigrants to specific cities abroad? [less ▲]

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See detailThe Enfranchisement of Citizens Abroad in a Comparative Perspective
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

Scientific conference (2013, September 19)

In this article, I start by looking at the historical origin of external voting in an attempt to define the practice as a set of administrative procedures. However, looking at its speedy global ... [more ▼]

In this article, I start by looking at the historical origin of external voting in an attempt to define the practice as a set of administrative procedures. However, looking at its speedy global development, I argue that external voting is taking a different meaning for both sending and receiving societies in the era of globalization. Drawing on different examples from Europe, Latin America and Africa, and comparing the early development of external voting legislations with contemporary processes that lead to the enfranchisement of citizens abroad, I argue that the enfranchisement of citizens abroad is now part of a larger state strategy of developing external citizenship in order to capture what some scholars call the “diaspora resource”. For receiving states, I show through two case studies that the development of foreign electoral campaigns on their territory still triggers classic Westphalian fears of dual loyalties of immigrants. Nonetheless, I show that under specific circumstances, external voting can also be perceived by receiving states an opportunity to capture the votes of citizens enfranchised in both the sending and receiving societies. [less ▲]

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See detailAccess to Electoral Rights Belgium
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

Report (2013)

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See detailLe vote à distance des migrants mexicains : quel impact pour la diaspora dans le champ politique du pays d'origine?
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

in Politique Américaine (2013), 21

Dans cet article, je propose d’envisager en trois étapes les conséquences du droit de vote de la diaspora mexicaine au-delà de la réalité numérique limitée des deux dernières élections présidentielles ... [more ▼]

Dans cet article, je propose d’envisager en trois étapes les conséquences du droit de vote de la diaspora mexicaine au-delà de la réalité numérique limitée des deux dernières élections présidentielles. D’abord, j’aborde l’évolution du débat sur le droit de vote à distance sur la scène politique mexicaine et mets en lumière les craintes de la classe politique mexicaine à l’égard du poids politique de sa diaspora (particulièrement durant le régime du PRI avant 2000). Je montre également comment le processus de transition démocratique entamé à la fin du 20ème siècle in- fluence les relations entre État et diaspora et ouvre la voie à la réforme sur le droit de vote à distance. Ensuite, après avoir brièvement présenté les principales données concernant la participation politique de la diaspora en 2006 et 2012, j’examine deux hypothèses pouvant expliquer la faible mobilisation des Mexicains de l’étranger. D’une part, la législation sur le droit de vote à l’extérieur et sa mise en œuvre par les autorités électorales sont des barrières installées délibérément afin de limiter l’impact électoral d’une population sur laquelle les partis politiques ont peu de contrôle. D’autre part, j’émets l’hypothèse, grâce à différentes enquêtes d’opinion et à l’analyse du rôle des associations de migrants dans le processus d’enregistrement des électeurs, que l’intérêt à participer aux élections mexicaines n’est partagé que par une partie de la communauté émigrée. Cet article se termine par une discussion sur les évolutions du régime mexicain de vote à l’extérieur aux niveaux fédéral et régional. Ce faisant, je conclus que le droit de vote attribué à la diaspora mexicaine remplit une fonction principalement symbolique pour les autorités mexicaines en donnant l’illusion aux émigrés mexicains qu’ils continuent à faire partie de la communauté politique malgré leur absence du territoire national. [less ▲]

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See detailBook review: Beyond Dutch Borders: Transnational Politics among Colonial Migrants, Guest Workers and the Second Generation
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

in Contemporary Sociology: a Journal of Reviews (2013), 42

Book review of Liza Mugge's monograph

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See detailLa participation politique transnationale des Belges expatriés: Un cas d’exportation des divisions ethniques?
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

in Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales (2013), 29(2), 115-135

How does the ethno-linguistic conflict between Flemish and Walloons materialize itself among Belgian expatriate communities? Using the concepts of transnationalism and long-distance nationalism, this ... [more ▼]

How does the ethno-linguistic conflict between Flemish and Walloons materialize itself among Belgian expatriate communities? Using the concepts of transnationalism and long-distance nationalism, this article studies the transfer of political cleavages among emigrant communities. To do so, I examine the conditions that led to the creation of Belgian emigrant associations abroad, I analyse parliamentary debates on the right to vote of expatriates in home country elections and I compare the electoral behaviour of expatriate and resident voters. This analysis leads me to two major conclusions. First, emigrants are resources that serve home country political parties to strengthen their position at home. Second, the political behaviour of Belgian emigrants evolves similarly to that of resident voters. [less ▲]

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See detailTransnational Politics and the State. The External Voting Rights of Diasporas.
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

Book published by Routledge (2013)

In just two decades, the number of states that have adopted external voting policies has boomed. Today, these policies, which allow emigrants to take part in home country elections from abroad, are widely ... [more ▼]

In just two decades, the number of states that have adopted external voting policies has boomed. Today, these policies, which allow emigrants to take part in home country elections from abroad, are widely found in Europe and Latin America. Looking at the cases of Italy, Mexico, and Bolivia, this book examines the motivations and consequences for states that enfranchise citizens abroad. This analysis sheds light on the impact of emigrants in home country politics, the motivations for emigrants to take part in the elections of a country where they no longer reside, and the consequences of this practice on receiving societies. With a multi-disciplinary approach, this book will appeal to scholars and students of sociology, political science, legal studies, international relations, migration, and transnationalism. [less ▲]

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See detailRegime change in Mexico and the transformation of state-diaspora relations
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

in Collyer, Michael (Ed.) Policies and Ideologies of Emigrant Engagement (2013)

Over the course of last two decades, Mexico’s policies towards its population abroad has moved from a situation characterized by a general lack of interest to being one of the most active state in this ... [more ▼]

Over the course of last two decades, Mexico’s policies towards its population abroad has moved from a situation characterized by a general lack of interest to being one of the most active state in this field. The recent development of dual national and external voting policies as well as the creation of a dedicated government agency and of a consultative body all epitomize the radical change through which Mexico has gone. In this chapter, I argue that the transformation of Mexico’s attitude towards its emigrants is strongly connected to the evolution of its political regime characterized by a transition towards democracy, a strong desire to take part actively in the global economy and the increasing interest of regional actors in migration issues. Focusing on the issue of external voting, the chapter concludes by discussing the evolution of the power relations between the emigrant community and the Mexican state. [less ▲]

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See detail“¡Basta con Evo!” El voto boliviano en Nueva York
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg; von Arx, Emmanuel

in Lafleur, Jean-Michel (Ed.) Diáspora y voto en el exterior: La participación política de los emigrantes bolivianos en las elecciones de su país de origen (2012)

La experiencia de voto boliviano en los Estados Unidos se caracteriza por la claridad de la victoria del partido de la oposición, Convergencia, y por el bajo nivel de registros de los ciudadanos ... [more ▼]

La experiencia de voto boliviano en los Estados Unidos se caracteriza por la claridad de la victoria del partido de la oposición, Convergencia, y por el bajo nivel de registros de los ciudadanos bolivianos. En este capítulo tratamos de entender las razones que explican la excepción estadouni- dense en las prácticas políticas del emigrante boliviano. Para lograr este objetivo, analizamos primero la evolución de los flujos migratorios bolivianos hacia los Estados Unidos. En segundo lugar, examinamos los datos de la encuesta llevada a cabo el día de la elección con los electores del área metropolitana de Nueva York e ilustramos los resultados de la encuesta con una serie de extractos de entrevistas realizadas con emi- grantes. Gracias a estos datos, el capítulo define el perfil socioeconómico del elector boliviano en Nueva York e identifica los factores que afectan a la formación de las opiniones políticas de los ciudadanos en el exterior (como, por ejemplo, las dimensiones comunitarias y transnacionales de la migración boliviana). [less ▲]

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See detailEl voto de los migrantes bolivianos en Madrid: un asunto privado con impacto transnacional
Brey, Elisa; Stürckow, Inara; Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

in Lafleur, Jean-Michel (Ed.) Diáspora y voto en el exterior: La participación política de los emigrantes bolivianos en las elecciones de su país de origen (2012)

Durante los últimos años, los representantes políticos de varios países de mayor procedencia de la inmigración en España han multiplicado sus iniciativas hacia los emigrantes, con especial interés en ... [more ▼]

Durante los últimos años, los representantes políticos de varios países de mayor procedencia de la inmigración en España han multiplicado sus iniciativas hacia los emigrantes, con especial interés en captar su voto. Utilizando las encuestas recogidas en Madrid el día 6 de diciembre de 2009 (elecciones presidenciales en Bolivia) y entrevistas exploratorias con migrantes bolivianos, este capítulo examina la especificidad del caso español en el marco de las migraciones bolivianas. La exposición de los resultados empíricos sobre el caso de Madrid se articula en tres partes: la primera versa sobre la inmigración boliviana en España; la segunda ana- liza las prácticas de transnacionalismo político en relación con la jornada electoral y, finalmente, la tercera centra la atención en algunos aspectos puntuales de la campaña electoral, tales como la circulación de la infor- mación y el papel de las asociaciones. [less ▲]

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See detailSurgimiento y desarrollo del “voto en el exterior” en el “proceso de cambio” boliviano
Hinojosa Gordonava, Alfonso; Domenech, Eduardo; Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

in Lafleur, Jean-Michel (Ed.) Diáspora y voto en el exterior: La participación política de los emigrantes bolivianos en las elecciones de su país de origen (2012)

Este capítulo analiza el surgimiento del voto en el exterior tanto en el contexto político boliviano entre los años 2003 y 2009 como en el marco global del reciente desarrollo de políticas públicas de los ... [more ▼]

Este capítulo analiza el surgimiento del voto en el exterior tanto en el contexto político boliviano entre los años 2003 y 2009 como en el marco global del reciente desarrollo de políticas públicas de los estados de origen destinadas a los ciudadanos residentes en el exterior. Para comprender el interés actual en la extensión del sufragio a ciudadanos residentes en el exterior, se exploran tres elementos: 1) la formación de comunidades migrantes organizadas en el exterior que reivindican derechos en sus países de origen; 2) la importancia estratégica de los emigrantes para los gobiernos expulsores en un mundo globalizado; y, 3) las transformaciones de la escena política doméstica. En concreto, se examina la relación que se ha creado entre el Gobierno nacional y los emigrantes a partir de la llegada del Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) a la Presidencia en el año 2006 y el proceso político por el cual llega a hacer- se efectivo el llamado “voto en el exterior”. [less ▲]

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See detailCiudadanos en el exterior y participación electoral transnacional: Lecciones de la primera experiencia boliviana de voto en el exterior en las elecciones presidenciales del 2009.
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg

in Lafleur, Jean-Michel (Ed.) Diáspora y voto en el exterior. La participación política de los emigrantes bolivianos en las elecciones de su país de origen (2012)

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