Sarah Garding completed her doctoral degree in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. Her dissertation, which examines diaspora political incorporation policies in the postcommunist space, draws on 16 months of fieldwork in Armenia, Croatia, and Serbia, as well as short-term fieldwork in diaspora communities in Canada, the United States, and Germany. She received her B.A. degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with majors in Russian and Political Science.

Project Summary

For many countries of emigration, the venue of domestic politics is increasingly transnational. This project investigates policies implemented by governments in countries of emigration to incorporate their diasporas into the homeland political community. While some governments enact expansive policies that enable their diasporas to easily acquire citizenship, vote overseas, run for office, and have representation in parliament, others try to insulate domestic politics from diaspora influence. To explain variation in these diaspora political incorporation policies, the project pairs global data on citizenship, overseas voting rights, and representation policies with analysis of policy variation in Armenia, Croatia, and Serbia. These three countries have among the world’s largest emigrant populations relative to their domestic populations. Moreover, they grappled with devastating wars and steep economic decline in the 1990s. Yet incorporation policies varied across these three cases as well as within each case over time.