THE TRANSNATIONAL GEOGRAPHIES OF IMMIGRANT POLITICS: Insights from a Comparative Study of Migrant Grassroots Organizing


*Patricia Landolt, Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto, 455 Spadina Ave., Suite 400, Toronto, ON M5S 2G8, Canada; e-mail:


Greater global interconnectedness produces a transformation in the ways in which groups constitute and interpret the boundaries of community formation and political practice. This article considers the ways in which a group engages (or not) with the possibilities for transnational identity formation and border-crossing politics granted by the changing structures of the global order. A comparative analysis identifies similarities and differences in the patterns of community formation and political engagement of Salvadoran migrants settled across different urban centers of North America. Variations in the territorial orientation and scales of immigrant political practice are explained by the national and city-level contexts of immigrant reception, the institutional opportunity structure in which migrant groups are embedded, and the nature of relations between migrants and their migrant and nonmigrant institutional interlocutors in places of settlement and their country of origin.