Guadalupe Chavez

Research Topic:

The Politics of Return Migration: How Mexico Manages the Return of its Citizens
Government and Politics Network
Communications Team
Wadham College
DPhil Politics

I am a DPhil (PhD) student in Politics at the DPIR. Broadly, I am interested in the politics of migration in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). More specifically, I am interested in understanding how national governments across LAC manage different forms of migration (immigration, in-transit migration, forced migration, and return migration), what factors shape their management strategies, what explains variation across national governments in the region, and how such management strategies shape the lives of migrant communities.

What do national governments that are dependent on emigration do when an influx of its citizens abruptly return as a result of restrictive immigration policies and economic rescission in host countries? My DPhil project traces how the Mexican national government managed the influx of voluntary and involuntary return migration from the United States (1920-2018). I explore why Mexico shifted its strategies for managing the return of its citizens over time and its political implications. Given the proliferation of deportations carried out by western and non-western states, my DPhil project aims to address how countries of origin address return migration and theorise the rationale behind their management preferences and/or lack thereof.

My previous research and collaborative projects have been funded by the US Department of State, Open Society Foundations, and the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (Conacyt). Before joining the DPIR, I was the editorial assistant for the International Migration Review and Journal on Migration and Human Security. I also have experience working in the US Senate and the US House of Representatives, and in the non-profit sector. I received my MA in politics from the New School for Social Research.


My research interests include:

  • Migration and mobility

  • Qualitative methods (archival research, elite interviewing, and ethnography)

  • Citizenship theories

  • Diaspora politics

  • Comparative politics


Introduction to the Practice of Politics

Comparative Government


Other Publications

Policy Reports

  • 2021 “Toward a Retorno Digno: Recommendations for a Holistic Public Policy of Return to Mexico City," co-authored with Tyler Kopp, Esmeralda Flores, Jill Anderson, and Maggie Loredo. Otros Dreams en Acción.


Book Reviews

Essays in Blogs