Comparative Politics

B02 - Migration and Citizenship

Date: Jun 12 | Time: 10:15am to 11:45am | Location:

The Politics of Us and Them: A Comparative-Historical Analysis of Migration Politics in Canada, France, and Germany: Friederike Alm (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main), Jens Borchert (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main)
Abstract: Canada, France, and Germany are among the ten most important immigration countries in the world today. In this paper, I present the insights of my finished PhD project in which I analyzed the politics of immigration, citizenship, and integration in Canada, France, and Germany since 1945. In this comparative-historical analysis (CHA), I investigated the question of how these three political fields interact in what I call ‘immigration, integration, and citizenship politics- nexus’ over time and what impact this has on the way these three paradigmatic country cases can be typologized today. With this nexus as my new conceptual innovation, I contribute to the conversation on immigration country models, which emerged in the 1990s. While the models approach has been met with ample criticism, mainly regarding the static conception of the countries in those typologies, I argue that an analysis that takes the synergy of these three political fields into account (not only focusing on one of these three fields) will offer a more dynamic and comprehensive perspective on the evolution of each country’s migration politics. The approach of CHA allows me to draw on a vast set of primary and secondary sources, including a corpus of 43 in-depth expert interviews and an extensive study of the secondary academic literature. In my paper, I will present my research design, my research results on how the three countries’ differences and similarities have evolved both across-case and across-time and lastly, what lessons can be drawn from my results for the models approach in comparative migration research.

Diaspora Voting: A New Item on the “Menu of Manipulation”?: Nathan Allen (St. Francis Xavier University), Elizabeth Wellman (University of Memphis)
Abstract: Since 1990, over 100 countries have extended voting rights to their citizens abroad. Although diaspora voting can be argued as a mechanism for increased inclusion, the potential for governments to employ diaspora voting as a form of electoral manipulation is both theoretically feasible and empirically evident. Drawing on Schedler’s classic “Menu of Manipulation” (2003), this article explores how choices in the organization and implementation of voting abroad can serve as new strategies for violating democratic norms. We identify numerous points of potential manipulation along the “chain of democratic choice” at both individual and institutional levels. We also look beyond country of origin policies to consider how country of residence can also manipulate both the range of voting options offered to citizens abroad as well as the formation of preferences. Cases of diaspora voting manipulation, including Italy, Ghana, and Russia, illuminate the diversity of emerging tactics. Our study demonstrates how transnational voting is now a new item on the menu of election fraud.

The Right to Leave the Territory of a State: Willem Maas (York University)
Abstract: Most scholarship on migration considers immigration, entry to state territory. Much less discussed is emigration, let alone (particularly since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War) the idea that states might attempt to block or regulate exit from their territory. Though Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines a human right to leave any country – specifying that “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own” – many states do in fact restrict or regulate the right to exit. This paper considers various types of regulation of exit, including by democratic countries. It is a largely conceptual and policy-oriented piece, drawing inspiration from articles appearing in a special issue of the journal International Migration on the topic of regulation of exit, and advancing some normative arguments about how to better protect the human right to leave any country, illustrated by empirical examples mostly from developed democracies.

Migration and Citizenship Laws: The Arab Uprisings in Comparative Perspective: Ahmed Khattab (Georgetown University), Marc Howard (Georgetown University)
Abstract: The Arab Uprisings had a profound impact on the domestic politics of affected states as well as regional politics. Most studies choose to focus on how these major protest movements impacted regime durability and democratization prospects, or how they transformed into civil conflict that created or protracted existing refugee crises. This paper aims to explore how these critical events affected policies governing the flow of peoples; how did the uprisings affect migration laws? How did they impact nationality and citizenship laws? In this paper, I argue that uprising outcomes are associated with migration, nationality, and citizenship policy changes, and specifically as they pertain to emigrant and extraterritorial citizen rights and responsibilities as codified in law. States where uprisings toppled incumbents or brought an overhaul of the regime also saw significant changes to their migration, nationality, and citizenship policies with broad impact. In states where regimes survived major protest, migration and nationality laws as well as legal amendments and decrees were tactfully instrumentalized to bolster regime support without changing the nature of the state-emigrant relationship. The paper employs a comparative case analysis of four states, where incumbents either lost power or survived, that experienced a sustained upheaval in the early wave of the Arab uprisings – namely Bahrain, Egypt, Syria, and Tunisia. The paper seeks to unpack how mass protests produce institutional effects transcending the spatial boundaries of the state.