This dissertation explores the process of democratic deepening in the global South and illuminates the complex mechanisms underlying diverse state-civil society relations and the distinct patterns of governance which are subsequently cultivated. In particular, this study is theoretically and empirically framed around transnational civic organizations called migrant hometown associations (HTAs). HTAs are transnational civic associations comprised of migrant diaspora who reside in the same host city and who intervene collectively in their hometowns of origin in order to implement local development agendas. Empirical data in the form of semi-structured interviews and archival material are collected from four HTAs based in the Washington DC metropolitan area, as well as their respective local states and hometown communities in El Salvador. In short, this dissertation asks under what conditions HTAs successfully deepen democracy in the hometown and under what conditions they fail. Findings conclude that whether a deep democracy is attained or whether the reality falls short of the democratic ideal depends on the degree of linkage, which the HTA is able to cultivate with its local state and hometown community. In other words, HTAs which foster high degrees of linkage with their local states and with their hometown communities more effectively deepen democracy than those which engender low degrees of linkage. The cultivation of these linkages positions the HTA to intervene dynamically as a trans-local governance actor in the hometown and to influence local governance values, practices, and institutions, ultimately transforming the democratic landscape for both better and worse. Thus, this dissertation elaborates a typology of trans-local governance in order to tease out the nuanced mechanisms underlying HTA-local state-community relations. Findings are generalized beyond HTAs and El Salvador to uncover the mechanisms by which other transnational civic associations in the global South can effectively engage as vehicles for deepening democracy.
Villacres, Daniela Nicole,
"Remitting Trans-local Governance: Diaspora Associations as Vehicles for Deepening Democracy"
Sociology Theses and Dissertations.
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