23/05/2016: Migration seminar “What is the relationship between immigrant political participation in receiving societies and transnational political engagement with countries of origin?” by Ali Chaudhary

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Date(s) - 23/05/16
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

UNU-MERIT, Boschstraat 24, Maastricht (Room 0.16/0.17)


What is the relationship between immigrant political participation in receiving societies and transnational political engagement with countries of origin?

 Dr. Ali R. Chaudhary (University of Oxford, Wolfson College)

MGSoG/UNU-MERIT Migration Seminar in collaboration with Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE)

Abstract: Sociological scholarship on transnational political engagement offers competing interpretations regarding the relationship between immigrant incorporation and transnational engagement. One strand of scholarship contends that transnational political engagement declines overtime as immigrants undergo a re-socialization in their new receiving societies. Another stand argues that socioeconomic incorporation and transnational engagement are complimentary processes. Neither strands of scholarship specifically examine the effects of immigrants’ civic and political participation in the receiving country on their transnational political engagement. Drawing on previous scholarship, this article introduces the ‘re-socialization’ and ‘complementarity’ perspectives on immigrant transnational politics. Using random sample survey data from Europe(LOCALMULTIDEM, 2004-2008), I test the applicability of these perspectives by analyzing the relationship between immigrants’ receiving and origin country voting behavior. I also investigate the embeddedness of transnational politics by examining how receiving and origin country contexts influence immigrants’ transnational voting behavior.  Findings offer mixed results. Time spent in the receiving country decreases immigrants’ odds of having voting in their last origin country elections. However, civic engagement and voting in receiving country elections also increase immigrants’ proclivities to have voted in the origin country-suggesting some immigrants activate their transnational political agency by voting ‘here’ and ‘there’. This research contributes to the growing sociological literature on immigrant transnationalism by offering one of the first cross-national analyses of the effects of civic and political participation on transnational political engagement beyond the Latin American experience in the U.S.

Speaker biography: Ali R. Chaudhary holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Davis. He is a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Junior Research Fellow of Wolfson College at the University of Oxford where he is working on new theoretical and empirical research examining the different ways in which immigrants engage in electoral and non-institutional politics with their countries of origin and settlement.  Ali is also currently working on several ongoing research projects including 1) a series of papers on the political integration of immigrants in Europe (with Laura Morales); 2) a comparative study of Pakistani diaspora organizations in London and New York; 3) research on migration aspirations in the Arab World (with Yasser Moulin); 4) a series of papers on the attitudes of Muslims in the Untied States (with Gabriel Acevedo) and 5) new research exploring how music fosters acculturation and transnational engagement among immigrants and their second-generation children in the United States.   His work has been published in International Migration Review, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion and the International Migration Institute Working Papers Series. In January 2017, Ali will be an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.