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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

1-1-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Kevin Deegan-Krause

Abstract

Contemporary migrants participate in a variety of dual social, political, and economic processes. Sending and receiving states overtly encourage transnational practices when they allow migrants to maintain homeland citizenship regardless of their citizenship status in their receiving communities. Yet, we know little about migrants' ability to enact their citizenship and their propensity to participate in sending and receiving state networks and structures. We know also that diasporas experience and shape transnational spaces differently than other migrants, but we have much to learn about what influences a diaspora's desire and ability to maintain a political affiliation with their homeland and to become politically incorporated in their receiving community. What does having a transnational existence mean for a diaspora's desire and ability to become politically active? Do diasporas have opportunities to act within networks in one or both of their affiliated communities? And if opportunities are present, do they seek to participate or to withdraw? I approach transnationalism as a site of dual-state and extra-state political engagement, and examine how differences in sending conditions hold political significance for the individual, the community, and the state. I gathered data via face-to-face interviews with forty participants - Albanians, Bosnians and Kosovars who migrated to the United States in 1995 or later. I measured type, mode and frequency of transnational political activity and assigned scores to a spectral typology of action, including: avoidance, awareness, engagement and activism. Within this, I observe how transnational political activity is influenced by various independent variables.