Why do political parties support transnational emigrant voting rights?
Eva Ostergaard Nielsen (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Emigrant voting rights and the emergence of transnational electoral fields stand increasingly central in state-emigrant relations as policies allowing enfranchisement of emigrants are now implemented in the majority of states worldwide. The understanding of how and why parties position themselves on emigrant voting rights is an important step towards a more complete understanding of how sending countries face the challenge of democratic linkage with mobile citizens. A growing number of case studies show that the extension of voting rights to emigrants is often contested among country of origin political parties. However, there is no systematic comparative study of why different political parties support (or oppose) these voting rights and how this position is framed by the parties. Drawing on an original dataset based on parliamentary debates across 13 European states we analyse the extent to which factors such as ideology, party positions on other issues such as nationalism and immigrant rights and electoral support from emigrants are significant for the positioning and framing of parties.
Eva Ostergaard Nielsen is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Law of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She holds degrees in Anthropology and Political Science from Copenhagen University and a PhD in Politics from University of Oxford/ St. Antony’s College.
Eva’s research interests include the politics of migration in both receiving and sending countries, migrant’s transnational networks, practices and forms of political participation. She has been the lead researcher and participated in a range of project funded at the international, European or national level. From 2018-2023 she will be the IP of an ERC Consolidator Grant (726406) Migration and Democratic Diffusion: the Impact of Migration on Democratic Practices and Processes in Countries of Origin (MIGRADEMO), which will examine the impact of international migration on migrant countries of origin through both large scale surveys and in-depth fieldwork.