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Family remittances and vigilantism in Mexico

Ley, S., Ibarra-Olivo, J. E. ORCID: and Meseguer, C. (2021) Family remittances and vigilantism in Mexico. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47 (6). pp. 1375-1394. ISSN 14699451 1369183X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2019.1623309


We explore the role of workers’ remittances in supporting vigilante organisations in Mexico. Research on remittances posits both a positive and a negative effect on collective action from the reception of remittances. On one hand, remittances sent by relatives abroad provide extra resources for political action at home. On the other hand, the reception of remittances makes recipients less prone to protesting, through a reduction in grievances. As a result, remittances can be associated with both an increase and a decrease of collective political activity. In this paper, we claim that both effects can co-exist and that the predominance of one mechanism or the other depends on the degree of penetration of remittances at the municipal level. Using data on the existence of vigilante organisations, we find that in most remittance-receiving municipalities, through a resource effect, remittance inflows increase the probability of observing self-defense organisations, but this probability declines at high rates of remittance penetration at the local level. Nonetheless, we observe an activation effect in a majority of remittance receiving municipalities. The paper contributes both to our understanding of international social networks as determinants of civilian action and to the research agenda on how workers’ remittances shape political behaviour in home countries.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:98481
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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