African Studies Workshop: Heterogeneous Returns on Reparations? A Study on the Effects of Return Migration on Democratic Politics

Dela Kpo, Princeton University
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Please join us for our African Studies Workshop on April 7 featuring Dela Kpo, a PhD candidate in Politics. There will be no precirculated paper for this workshop, and Dela will deliver a talk based on findings from her recent data collection. This is the Zoom link for the workshop:



Under what conditions do migrants become drivers of political accountability and public service delivery in their home countries? The general consensus in the migration literature is that returnees from developing countries will display higher levels of political participation and a stronger preference for accountability upon returning home, but only if they have returned from an OECD country. In contrast, I argue that people adjust their behavior to the constraints of their home countries. This idea of positive political action as a result of migration is not the norm, but rather reflects the behavior of a subset of migrants who were already politically active before migrating or experienced their initial political socialization abroad. For a considerable number of migrants, the combination of increased expectations and material wealth provides an opportunity to reduce interactions with the State, which results in behavior that can be best described as bypass or avoidance. I test this theory in Ghana, using an original survey (N=2000), a survey experiment, semi-structured interviews, and data on Member of Parliament spending and attendance.

Sponsored by
The Program in African Studies