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Migration Governance Across Regions : State-Diaspora Relations in the Latin America-Southern Europe
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Migration policies are rarely effective. From border controls to guest worker programs to immigrant integration measures, there are plenty of examples of the gaps between intended effects and unexpected, undesirable outcomes. In Latin America, very little is known about the concrete impact of state outreach efforts and what factors might make these policies sustainable and effective in the long run. Following a world-wide trend, Ecuador, Uruguay, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil have recently developed new programs, institutions, and discourses to strengthen nationhood links and capture migrants’ cultural, political, and economic resources. As an adaptation of governmental techniques to global realities, these policies have redefined the contours of polities, nations, and citizenship, giving place to a new form of transnational governance.
Building upon field research done in these five states in the last two decades, Ana Margheritis explains the timing, motivations, characteristics, and implications of emigration policies implemented by each country. Margheritis begins by developing a much-needed conceptual framework to understand relatively recent and innovative emigration policies in Latin America. She then turns to the specificities and impact of emigration policies not just from the point of view of policymakers’ stated goals and abstract evaluation techniques but also from the perspective of neglected stakeholders: emigrants. She later moves to analyze a regional normative consensus that encourages policy convergence around human rights considerations, regional citizenship, and neo-populist and post-neoliberal discourses to then explore migrant views in specific localities in Europe.
Studying recent emigration policies of these five Latin American countries and the responses of immigrant communities in Southern Europe sheds light on the political dynamics and new mechanisms of governance that transnational migration is generating across regions. In particular, it illuminates possible venues to manage dual engagements of migrants with societies at both ends of their migration journey and unveils the engagement opportunities for home and host states in the cooperative management of migration flows, thus encouraging open debate around best international practices.