IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Bringing Hirschman Back In: Conceptualizing Transnational Migration as a Reconfiguration of “Exit”, “Voice”, and “Loyalty”


  • Bert Hoffmann

    () (GIGA Institute of Latin American Studies)


Albert O. Hirschman’s scheme of “exit and voice,” long a classic in the study of migration and its political implications, was conceived within the framework of “methodological nationalism.” However, the rise of migrant transnationalism is eroding the classic migration paradigm. Combining theoretical considerations with empirical insights from Latin American cases, this paper argues that a critical reappraisal of Hirschman’s scheme provides a helpful heuristic tool for conceptualizing the new character of today’s transnational migration. Whereas in the traditional approach to international migration the options of exit, voice, and loyalty are considered to be mutually exclusive, transnational migration can be defined precisely by the overlapping and simultaneity of these categories.

Suggested Citation

  • Bert Hoffmann, 2008. "Bringing Hirschman Back In: Conceptualizing Transnational Migration as a Reconfiguration of “Exit”, “Voice”, and “Loyalty”," GIGA Working Paper Series 91, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:91

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    migration; transnationalism; exit and voice; Latin America; methodological nationalism;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gig:wpaper:91. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bert Hoffmann). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.