Realizing the Development Potential of Diasporas

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In this book, international experts including academics, policymakers, private sector practitioners, and representatives of diaspora communities further our understanding of how the growing population of expatriates from the developing world can be effectively leveraged to promote development in their homelands. The contributors cover issues relating to diaspora diversity and its impact on development, the potential of expatriates to further entrepreneurship and business development in their homelands, the effectiveness of remittances in furthering inclusive development, and policies to better engage diasporas as drivers of development. Their analyses are supported by examples and case studies focusing on the experiences of specific diaspora networks, home country institutions promoting diaspora engagement, migrant entrepreneurs, and financial institutions facilitating remittances.



Fostering economic opportunity for transnational families

The world is being transformed by globalization. Although globalization is not a new phenomenon, a number of political, economic and technological developments have facilitated an increasingly integrated global economy (Gilpin 2000: 7) through unprecedented interaction and growing interdependence between nations, people and cultures. The Economist Intelligence Unit classifies the three main components of globalization as the movements of goods, capital and labour (EIU 2008b). These dimensions are all closely interrelated, but particular attention has been focused on the movement of goods and capital, and fewer comparative studies are available on the movement of people. This global movement of people now affects countries at every level of economic development: “Migrants now depart from and arrive in almost every country in the world, making it increasingly difficult to sustain the distinction that has traditionally been made between countries of origin, transit and destination” (GCIM 2005b: 789). A leading academic in the field of migration, Professor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, estimates that, every second, 25 people cross a national border, accounting for more than 1 billion international journeys in 2007 alone. The United Nations estimates that 1 out of every 10 people worldwide is either a diaspora member or linked to them as families left behind. These growing global networks, cross-border links and, perhaps most notably, economic factors are predicted to result in even greater numbers of migrants in the future (Martin 2003: 6). However, although the processes of globalization have created wealth and opportunity, broad global issues remain, such as the disparity between the world’s rich and poor. These global challenges and the issues surrounding global migration will require increased cooperation at the local, national and international levels.


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