Nation-states are no longer contained by their borders. In times of mass migration and ever more dense transnational networks, states of all sizes and all migration profiles reach out to their emigrated citizens in wholly new ways. The variety of policies that target emigrants (“emigrant policies”) is so vast that it seems to have become a new state function. For example, it is well known that states are expanding citizen participation beyond the nation’s boundaries through voting rights and new modalities of representation and that they are opening channels for remittance transfer and offering specific investment opportunities to returning emigrants. However, other, less studied emigrant policies, comprise the symbolic incorporation of emigrants into the nation-state (e.g. through awards celebrating emigrants’ achievements); social service provisions for non-residents (e.g. health and education); and the institutional inclusion of emigrants in consultative bodies, to name just a few.
This book is the first to systematically take stock of the emigrant policies in place across 22 Latin American and Caribbean countries, as of 2015. By covering an entire geographical region and being based on rigorous data-collection, this will be a reference in a literature that has so far centered on a few specific cases. Also, our proposed definition of “emigrant policies” encompasses a wide range of policies that are aimed at emigrants beyond the “usual suspects” analyzed in the extant literature (electoral, citizenship, and economic policies), resulting in 112 different dimensions. This survey of such a broad sample of countries and policy dimensions will allow researchers to theorize and make comparisons on models of emigrant policy on a solid empirical and conceptual base.
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