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In Exile and in Touch

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Studying transnational behaviour, i.e. interactions between the sending and receiving countries of international migrants, is especially interesting for refugees given their migration motive and history. Due to the flight, resources are lost and returning to the home country is often not an option; both are factors that might limit transnational behaviour. The central aim of this study is to explain the patterns of transnational behaviour for refugee groups in relation to their integration process. For this we use a large scale dataset (N=3950) which contains information on Somali, Iranian, Iraqi and Afghani refugees in the Netherlands. Along the lines of the ‘resource dependent’ thesis the analyses show that individual capacities, such as employment and Dutch nationality, are of major importance in explaining transnational activities of refugees. Second, this paper shows that the economic and social situation in the origin country should be taken into account for understanding the differences in transnational activities among refugee groups.


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Correspondence to Linda Bakker.

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  • Transnationalism
  • integration
  • remittances
  • social ties
  • refugee