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The 2001 Italian expatriate vote: Was it worth it?

A view from the Africa-Asia-Oceania-Antarctica college

Bruno Mascitelli, Rory Steele and Simone Battiston

This book examines the implementation and consequences of the Italian expatriate vote and representation introduced in 2001 in the external electoral colleges with special attention to the Electoral College known as Africa-Asia-Oceania-Antarctica. The Italian elections of 2006, 2008 and 2013 were important moments where the expatriate vote was expressed providing results which Italian lawmakers may have not anticipated. Moreover, the electoral expressions of the external colleges were not always in accord with Italians ones. This study examines how the stakeholders in the Africa-Asia-Oceania-Antarctica college understood and perceived this voting and representation facility after its implementation. What they thought in 2001 and what they think now. The study seeks the views of focus groups across numerous cities in Australia, interviews the protagonists and provides critical commentary on the future of this «right» and whether all this effort «was worth it» in providing Italians abroad with external voting and representation in elections and referendums.

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1. Introduction: Migration, Homeland and Host LandEngagement 1

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CHAPTER 1 Introduction: Migration, Homeland and Host Land Engagement Migration in whatever form it takes will continue to be a complex demographic phenomenon throughout the coming decades not only for receiving countries that have been transformed as a result of mas- sive levels of migration such as the United States, Canada and Austra- lia but also for sending countries in ‘old Europe’ like Italy, Ireland, Germany and France. It is a topic enshrouded in controversy and de- bate almost everywhere in the world. Though public attention has tended to focus on the more controversial aspects of migration such as illegal immigration and refugees, for the most part the movement of people is uncontroversial and ‘normal’, dictated by personal circum- stances and often in hope of better economic and societal opportuni- ties. In general people who move to settle in new homelands do so to seek economic opportunities, acquire legal security and eventually po- litical rights, and are welcomed there. International students studying away from their home country are becoming a new wave of intellec- tual migration in countries such as the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. The total number of migrants throughout the world recorded in 2010 was approximately 214 million according to official data.1 This figure saw an increase in international migration from an estimated 150 million in 2002 making up approximately 3.1 per cent of the world population. This has meant that one out of every 33 persons in the world today is a migrant (whereas in...

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