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Emigrants and Emigration in Historical Perspective


International migration from poorer to richer states gives emigrants resources that they can use to exercise leverage over home states, but also leaves them vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination in host states, conditions that activate interventions by emigration states seeking to influence and protect nationals abroad.  This paper traces the changing patterns of interaction between emigrants and emigration states over the past century and a half.  Many of the underlying incentives for emigration state intervention have remained stable, yielding similar state responses over this entire period.  By contrast, political changes in emigration states have altered the motivations of emigrants seeking to engage with the states and people left behind. Moreover, interactions between emigrants and emigration states are increasingly affected by international organizations and diffusion processes which, while present in earlier periods, lacked the influence exercised today.

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