Rooted at Home: How Domestic Migration Separates Voters into National and Local Electorates



Hans Lueders, Postdoctoral Scholar, CDDRL

Date and Time

October 14, 2021 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM


RSVP Required.


Online, via Zoom

About the Seminar: Domestic migration separates voters into nationally- and locally-minded electorates because migrants differ from non-migrants regarding the strength of their local identities. To demonstrate how migration alters the importance of local identities, I study sub-national variation in the nationalization of local elections: in out-migration areas, strong local identities mean that non-migrant voters are active in local politics and consider locally defined issues when voting, while weak local identities lower migrant voters' ability to do so in in-migration areas. I support my argument using household panel data and comprehensive data on cross-county migration, national and sub-national elections, and civil society organizations in contemporary Germany. My identification strategy uses a shift-share instrument for migration and exploits a large-scale welfare reform in 2005 that lastingly altered domestic migration flows. My focus on local identities calls for a reappraisal of conventional descriptions of contemporary democratic politics, which mostly examines divides in national politics. The paper identifies a new research agenda on the political consequences of domestic migration, which has important implications for our understanding of democratic polarization and local service delivery.



Hans LuedersAbout the Speaker: Hans Lueders holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University and is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. His research seeks to understand the causes and consequences of political inequality in different political contexts. Hans is currently working on a book project that links political inequality in contemporary democratic societies to domestic migration. Additionally, Hans researches political inequality in closed authoritarian regimes, where state institutions ensure that citizens have little political say. His work identifies little-acknowledged ways through which citizens can still influence politics despite this extreme inequality. Moreover, his research on unauthorized migration in the United States studies political inequality from the perspective of a politically marginalized group. It seeks to understand how unauthorized immigrants navigate life while being politically disenfranchised.  Hans’ work has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy, and the European Political Science Review, among others.


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