International Migration and the Globalization of Domestic Politics
Jet airliners, international telephone services, satellite television, fax machines and the Internet have made it easier for emigrants to maintain contact with their homelands and participate in homeland politics. Increasing international migration, the information revolution and democratization have propelled a globalization of the domestic politics of many states that is similar to the globalization of national economies. Just as firms may have an integrated production system with factories and research facilities in states other than the state in which corporate headquarters is located, polities may have a political system with significant participants spread across several states other than that of the homeland. Just as even small firms use fax machines, Federal Express and the Internet to market their products globally, political movements and parties reach beyond state borders in organizational and fundraising activities. As the Internet provides relatively inexpensive international communication with vast potential for political organization, emigrants have developed extensive networks of electronic bulletin boards and web pages through which members of diasporas communicate with one another as well as with political actors in the home country.
This globalization of domestic politics is part and parcel of the larger phenomenon of the politics of diasporas and transnational communities formed through recent or past migration (as well as the break-up of multinational states). Classical diasporas include the ancient Greeks, Jews and Armenians, and, as I will demonstrate below in chapter 1, emigrants in diasporas have influenced the domestic politics and the foreign policies of their home countries throughout history. Migrants have also become politically active in the host country to which they migrated, often in order to influence the foreign policies of their host countries toward their homelands. Governments of the homeland or “mother” country may engage their emigrants to further political agendas, view their emigrants as traitors for leaving, or simply ignore them. Diasporic politics in its many forms is not new. However, the scope and scale of emigrant political participation in homeland politics is increasing in today’s world, as growing ranks of migrants from an increasing number of source countries living in a greater number of host countries produce ever more and increasingly varied diasporas...