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The Transnational Political Practices of Chilean Migrants in Switzerland


  • Claudio Bolzman

    1.  Centre for the Studies on Cultural Diversity and Citizenship, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO), Geneva.
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This paper examines the transnational political practices of the Chilean migrants residing in Switzerland. It is mainly interested in their political mobilization. It focuses on two particular questions: what are the main modes of transnational political mobilization of Chileans living in the Swiss Confederation? What are the conditions that promote the mobilization of these migrants and lead them to bring forth political demands? With respect to the first question, data shows that Chileans’ political mobilization combines mostly classical homeland politics (issues related to human rights), initiated during the period of exile, with emigrant politics concerning the transnational status and rights of migrants themselves. With respect to the second question, factors which explain the political mobilization of migrants are related to access to political opportunities for Chileans in Switzerland (dual citizenship, political networks, and presence of international organizations) and limitation of rights in the home country. This goes hand in hand with a strong political identity, important collective resources and the capacity to use them politically.

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