Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Global Migration Drives Global Democracy

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Global Migration Drives Global Democracy

How Workers Abroad Weaken Dictators Back Home

Foreign Affairs,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Migrant remittances offer not only economic but also political benefits. 

Editorial Rating



  • Eye Opening
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


Transnational remittances from émigrés in wealthier nations to less well-off communities back home benefit those groups not only economically but also politically, say professors Abel Escribà-Folch, Covadonga Meseguer and Joseph Wright. In this intriguing article, the authors note that remittances make well-funded dissent possible, which in turn can result in peaceful transitions to democratic governance. Foreign aid and philanthropy rarely contribute to such transformations. Students of both economics and political science will find this an important addition to the literature on migration and cross-border payments. 


Remittances from émigrés to their home countries yield economic benefits.

Payments that migrants in wealthier locales send to their home communities in poorer nations contribute to those countries’ economic progress. The émigrés sending remittances earn more in their prosperous host countries; they can, therefore, afford to support less well-off family members abroad. 

The end result is greater consumption and more spending on public goods in less affluent communities, which improves the well-being of those populations. But the benefits of such remittances – which hit a high of $548 billion in 2019 – are not just...

About the Authors

Abel Escribà-Folch is an associate professor of political science at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Covadonga Meseguer is an associate professor of economics at ICADE, Comillas Pontifical University, Madrid. Joseph Wright is a professor of political science at Pennsylvania State University.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same authors