Authors: Abel Escribà-Folch, Joseph Wright, and Covadonga Meseguer
In the growing body of work on democracy, little attention has been paid to its links with migration.
Migration and Democracy focuses on the effects of worker remittances—money sent by migrants back to their home countries—and how these resources shape political action in the Global South.
Remittances are not only the largest source of foreign income in most autocratic countries, but also, in contrast to foreign aid or international investment, flow directly to citizens. As a result, they provide resources that make political opposition possible, and they decrease government dependency, undermining the patronage strategies underpinning authoritarianism.
The authors discuss how international migration produces a decentralized flow of income that generally circumvents governments to reach citizens who act as democratizing agents.