Transnational Migration, Citizenship and the Circulation of Rights and Responsibilities (TRANSMIC)

Political remittances: Migration, social transformation and revolution (quantitative)

(ER 9b; University of Oxford)

This postdoctoral research investigates the political dimensions of transnational migration and citizenship. Specifically, it seeks to understand the determinants, nature and consequences of transnational political engagement for migrants’ places of origin and settlement. This research fills an important gap in the migration and development debate, which tends to focus exclusively on economic remittances.  Drawing on the growing literature on political transnational engagement, social remittances and diaspora politics, this offers much needed theorizing and empirical analyses on the opportunities and constraints shaping migrants’ homeland-oriented political activities. The overall research entails the following: 1) A theoretical paper that moves beyond opportunity-driven accounts of transnationalism by elucidating the four constraints that hinder or deter migrants’ transnational political action. These include: geopolitics and inter-state relations; origin-country authoritarianism; weak governance; and exclusionary receiving-society contexts; 2) a quantitative analysis of the relationship between political integration and political remittances among immigrants in Europe; 3) collaborative research on the effects of citizenship regimes on immigrant and second-generation political engagement in Europe; 4) ongoing analyses into the role of immigrant organisations in promoting development and social change in immigrant-origin countries. Together, these inter-related analyses offer important theoretical and empirical contributions to the growing scholarship on immigrant transnationalism, citizenship and political remittances.

In addition to his written scholarship, Dr. Chaudhary also produced a video highlighting his research findings in order to increase social impact and public engagement with his work. Finally, during his time at Oxford, Dr. Chaudhary along with his IMI colleague Dr. Marieke Van Houte, organized a speaker series in 2016 which featured some of the most influential migration scholars in Europe including Thomas Faist, Rainer Baubock, Jorgen Carling, Laura Morales, and Simon Turner.


Research period: January 2015 – December 2016

Researcher: Ali R. Chaudhary  (profile page)


Dr. Ali R. Chaudhary worked on the TRANSMIC project as a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellow at the University of Oxford-International Migration Institute from January 2015 to December 2016. He earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Davis under the mentorship of Luis Eduardo Guarnizo, Fred Block and Irene Bloemraad. A key highlight of his Marie Cure fellowship period came in June 2016 when his TRANSMIC research was awarded the Rinus Pennix Best Paper Award for the IMISCOE conference held in Prague, CZ. Upon completing his postdoctoral research, Dr. Chaudhary returned to his native United States in late 2016 to take up his post as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. At Rutgers, Dr. Chaudhary teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses on international migration and social research methods. His new research project explores the relationship between entrepreneurship, philanthropy and civic engagement within South Asian immigrant organisations in metropolitan New York/New Jersey.