본문 바로가기
  • Home

Does Migration Promote Democracy at Home? Social Remittance and Democratic Attitudes in the Philippines

Oh, Yoon Ah 1

1대외경제정책연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

International migration exposes citizens of developing countries to different political, economic and social institutions in other parts of the world. Social remittances research suggests that international migrants absorb democratic attitudes such as trust and tolerance by socializing and participating in the democratic host country and spread them back to the home society. Yet this argument builds primarily from the experiences of what is essentially U.S.-Latin America migration. I use survey data from the Philippines, a developing country that sends migrants to both democracies and non-democracies, to examine whether migration changes citizen attitudes toward democracy at home. The findings challenge the social remittances argument that migration may contribute to the spread of democratic attitudes. Immersion in democratic cultures does not turn migrant households into principled democrats but likewise fails to spreads non-democratic values. Migration appears to play a limited role in shifting deep-rooted orientations of citizens―after all, it may not be a substitute for home-grown political change. I then speculate that what may be transmitted via migration is not so much democratic beliefs or practices but migration-induced exposure to high-quality government services, efficient public administration delivery or low corruption.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.