When studying the transnational political practices of Chilean migrants in the Netherlands, a transnational approach forms part of the theoretical framework. The work on transnational migration by Glick Schiller, Basch and Blanc-Szanton (1992) offers this analytical framework. Glick Schiller et al. have been among the first scholars to have introduced a transnational approach in understanding the effects of migration. They define transnationalism as “The processes by which immigrants build social fields that link together their country of origin and their country of settlement” (p.1). These migrants who are involved in transnationalism are labeled ‘transmigrants’. “Transmigrants develop and maintain multiple relations – familial, economic, social, organizational, religious, and political that span borders” (1992, p.1).
These transnational linkages that transcend national borders can be placed in the light of a bigger phenomenon called globalization. Globalization makes the world figuratively smaller and more compressed in terms of time and space. According to Inda and Rosaldo (2008), globalization creates interconnection and relations between places and people that go beyond the territorial borders of a nation state. This transnational and global element makes migrants people “Who inhabit imagined communities of belonging that cut across and encompass multiple national terrains” (p. 23). Transnational linkages and feelings of multiple belonging can be developed in several fields. Mazzucato (2008) for example demonstrates how migrants’ feelings of double engagement mark the economic field, through spending patterns that affect both home and host country. However, in this paper the focus is on the political field. Keeping the definition of transnationalism in mind, we can now start to specify what it means in terms of political practices among migrants, Chilean migrants in particular.
Journal article review I
Guarnizo, L. E., Portes, A. & Haller, W. (2003). Assimilation and Transnationalism: Determinants of Transnational Political Action among Contemporary Migrants. American Journal of Sociology, 108, pp. 1211-1248.
, sets out to examine the determinants of transnational political action among Dominican, Salvadorian and Colombian migrants in the U.S. Although the authors adopt a transnational approach to migration and political actions, such as offered by Glick Schiller et al. (1992), they argue that the term ‘transnational’ has been used too generally, without setting many criterions. They propose the concept transnational in terms of political action should be specified to political activities that take place on a regular basis.
The first main objective of the authors is, by investigating transnational political activities of the above mentioned migrant groups, to challenge classical perspectives on migrant assimilation. Instead they argue that it is not the extent of assimilation into the host country that determines the transnational...