Political parties and the transnational mobilisation of the emigrant vote

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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The relationship between political parties and voters is usually analysed in a national framework. However, the majority of states worldwide allow their emigrant citizens to have an absentee vote. This article analyses how parties confront the challenge of mobilising voters across borders. It presents an analytical framework for comparing the scope of party transnational mobilisation strategies across different electoral systems. Drawing on a contextualised qualitative analysis, the article analyses transnational electoral mobilisation of the emigrant vote in recent elections in Spain, France, Italy and Romania. The analysis shows that a cost–benefit analysis of electoral incentives explains the scope of transnational campaign efforts of many of the political parties. Yet the article also suggests locating the analysis of party strategies in the particular context of the transnational electoral field, including the high dispersion, uncertainty and volatility of the emigrant vote and the overlap between the electoral arenas among emigrants and at home.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-644
JournalWest European Politics
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2019


  • Parties
  • campaigns
  • elections
  • emigrants
  • transnational


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