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Violent Democracies and their Emigrants

How do violent democratic politics affect both state- and migrant-driven political transnationalism? And how does migrant transnationalism affect violent democratic politics in sending countries? Violent democracies are countries in which the legitimate means to accessing power is no longer violently contested (it is through competitive elections), yet a multitude of actors regularly use violence as a means of competing within established democratic institutional frameworks. They comprise major migrant-sending countries, such as Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, India, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

Drawing on a variety of research methods, and using evidence from various regions of the world, the collection of articles’ focus on migrant political transnationalism involving political regimes where institutionalized electoral competition and civic rights and freedoms interact

closely with informal, hidden, and illicit violent practices yields novel insights. Concretely, the particular nature of politics in violent democracies uniquely affects modes of transnational political engagement as well as migrants’ sense of political agency and purpose. Additionally, transnational migrants’ resources and cross-border networks contribute to deepening and internationalizing existing violent democratic practices. Moreover, state-to-emigrant outreach does not necessarily foster competition and inclusion, but can instead reinforce violent democratic orders.

Edited by Clarissa Perez-Armendariz