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Ten PhD and three post-doctoral researchers (two at IMI) across the consortium will implement research projects within the framework of the TRANSMIC project.

At IMI, our research will focus on Political remittances: Migration, social transformation and revolution. This study investigates the political impacts of emigration and, particularly, the circumstances under which (semi-) permanent and circular forms of migration can foster incremental or revolutionary transformations towards democratic forms of governance or political change in sending states. This fills an important gap in the migration and development debate, which is focused on socio-economic impacts on the micro- and meso-level. The transformational political potential of migration is ambiguous. Drawing on Hirschman’s ‘exit or voice’ hypothesis, particularly sending states have considered emigration as a remittance-generating and poverty-decreasing political-economic safety valve. On the other hand, migrants can exert ‘voice through exit’, when they form a political opposition abroad and start claiming democratic and minority rights, or fuel conflict. The potential for such ‘political remittances’ is enhanced by transnational networks and, hence, circulation of ideas and migrants.

This study investigates this topic using a mixed method approach. One researcher will investigate these links through historical-comparative analysis of the intersections between emigration dynamics and political change, and a focus on how strategies to respond to political discontent are shaped and change throughout the course of individual people’s lives, in a limited number of country cases. The other will quantitatively study the effects of migration on political governance, attitudes and transnational political orientations as well as the relationship between migration and political transformation in origin countries. This latter analysis will assess the effects of characteristics of emigrant populations human capital factors as well as economic and governance characteristics of destination states.