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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Migrant Organization and Hometown Impacts in Rural Mexico


The interaction between migration, development and rural democratization is not well understood. Exit is usually understood as an alternative to voice, but the Mexican experience with cross-border social and civic action led by hometown associations suggests that exit can also be followed by voice. This article explores migrant impacts on hometown civic life, focusing on voice and bargaining over community development investments of collective remittances that are matched by government social funds. The most significant democratizing impacts include expatriate pressures on local governments for accountability and greater voice for outlying villages in municipal decision-making.

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