What do governments do when much of the population simply gets up and walks away? In Mexico and other migrant-sending countries, the challenges and opportunities of mass emigration prompt governments to negotiate a new social contract with their citizens abroad. After decades of failed efforts to control the outflow, the Mexican state now emphasizes voluntary ties, dual nationality, and rights over obligations. In this groundbreaking book, David Fitzgerald examines a region of Mexico whose citizens have been migrating to the United States for more than a century. Drawing on archival, survey, and ethnographic research, he finds that, contrary to the arguments of some, emigrant citizenship does not signal the decline of the nation-state; nor is it business as usual. Instead, mass emigration within a robust system of sovereign countries actually leads to a new form of citizenship.
List of Illustrations ix Acknowledgments xi Map of Jalisco, Mexico xiii Introduction 1
1 The Politics of Absence 15
2 Inside the Sending State 36
3 The Church's Eye on Its Flock 70
4 Colonies of the Little Motherland 103
5 The Stranger or the Prodigal Son? 125 Conclusion 153 Appendix Survey Methodology 181 Notes 185 Bibliography 205 Index 235