A wide majority of countries acknowledge non-resident citizens’ right to vote in elections in their country of origin. However, classical turnout theories do not take into account how electoral mobilisation has expanded into a transnational political field that reaches beyond national state borders. The authors of this paper analyse the determinants of emigrant turnout based on an original dataset of 25 countries of origin and each of the counties of residence where these voters reside. They find that emigrant communities from developing democracies experience a steep political learning curve that prompts their participation in home country politics, especially if they reside in countries with solid democratic institutions and linkages with their host societies. The authors’ research also shows that remittances not only indicate commitment to family members’ welfare in home countries, but positively influence participation in home country politics.
Irina Ciornei and Eva Østergaard-Nielsen, Transnational turnout. Determinants of emigrant voting in home country elections, Political Geography, 2020.