It is now clear that the global shift toward democracy in recent decades has resulted in a highly uneven democratic landscape in which the quality and performance of democracies around the world vary greatly. In an era characterized by increasingly open borders to goods, services, information, and, at times, labor, we argue that poorly performing, uneven democracies have become an important, yet underexplored, component in one’s emigration calculus. We test this argument through analysis of survey data across 22 Latin American countries and find strong and consistent evidence that both the quality of a democratic system and its ability to fulfill basic governance responsibilities influence the degree to which an individual considers emigration as a viable life strategy. These findings in turn have implications for the subsequent impact emigration may have on the democratic development of high migration communities.
Democracy Governance Latin America Migration
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The authors would like to thank Javier Aparicio and Covadonga Meseguer for organizing and inviting us to be a part of the “Politics and Migration in Out-Migration Countries” workshop from which we received tremendous feedback on this work from all of the participants. We would also like to thank Katrina Burgess and Covadonga Meseguer for their tireless work as editors of this collection of works, as well as the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions.
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