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Title: Returns on Repatriation: The Effects of Return Migration on Democratic Politics
Authors: Kpo, Delanyo
Advisors: Widner, Jennifer
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: Africa
Political Behavior
Return Migration
Subjects: Political science
African studies
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Does returning from a relatively advanced democracy lead to greater political participation at home? In this work, I find it does not. In contrast to the existing studies and popular narratives that predict heightened political participation after returning from a more advanced democracy, I find that most people adjust their behavior to the constraints of their home countries. For the vast majority of return migrants, the combination of increased expectations and material wealth provides an opportunity to insulate from the failures of the home state. In environments where external efficacy is low, or citizens do not view the state as responsive, many returnees withdraw from formal political engagement in favor of what I call state bypass. Citizens bypass the state by pursuing and creating private alternatives to public services and goods. A significant implication of this finding is that insulation, withdrawal, and bypass decrease pressures on the state to improve service delivery, thereby reducing accountability in the short run. Rather than driving improvements in the quality of governance and democracy, returnees can inadvertently contribute to maintaining the political status quo by privatizing. I test this theory in Ghana using a mixed-methods research approach.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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