Reference : Civic Participation and Integration: A Country of Origin Perspective
Reports : External report
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Sociology & social sciences
Civic Participation and Integration: A Country of Origin Perspective
Gsir, Sonia mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Institut des sciences humaines et sociales > Centre d'études de l'ethnicité et des migrations (CEDEM) >]
European University Institute
[en] diaspora policy ; integration ; civic participation ; organizations ; home town organizations ; transantioanl civic activities
[en] This paper offers an insight into how emigration countries influence immigrants in their host society.
Our main objective is to explore the following questions: first, whether and how emigration countries
can influence the civic participation of immigrants in immigration countries and second, whether
transnational links, in particular political transnational activities, have an impact on civic participation
in receiving countries.
Civic participation is approached as a form of political participation outside of traditional political
institutions. As an active and collective dimension of engagement in society, one form of civic
participation consists in being active in organizations. This paper addresses three forms of
involvement: in local politics (mainstream organizations focused on mainstream issues), immigrant
and homeland politics (migrant organizations focused on ethnic or country of origin issues) and finally
a combination of mainstream and other issues with bi-national associations. The paper also raises the
issue of maintaining links with the country of origin and simultaneously integrating into the
immigration country. It questions, in particularly, the impact of transnational civic engagement on
civic participation in destination countries. Several case studies are presented and, in the case of
Mexico/U.S., some show that the Mexican migrant experience in hometown associations help
maintain civic ties with Mexico and positively affect civic participation with U.S. issues. Other cases
indicate that civic participation can, indeed, be influenced by transnational links, but also that it relies
on the institutional context of the receiving country: for example questions such as access to
citizenship). Possible conflicts of interests with countries of origin and countries of destination are also
raised in relation to the civic participation of emigrants here and there.
Finally, different diaspora policy mechanisms are put forward and in particular, the paper
hypothesizes the existence of diaspora empowering mechanism. In order to highlight this mechanism,
we map country of origin actors also chart the different kind of actions that can affect civic
European Commission
Migration Policy Centre
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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