Working Paper

Why Engage Diasporas?

Published 1 January 2008 / By Alan Gamlen

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Introduction

This paper evaluates arguments for and against diaspora engagement policies, focusing on three main areas: origin-state interests, the mutual obligations between states and emigrants, and the cooperation among sending-states, receiving-states and migrants themselves. Firstly, it argues that globalization and transnationalism present imperatives and opportunities for migrant-sending states to pursue their interests by engaging their diasporas. Secondly, it argues that mutual obligations between sending states and emigrants call for better diaspora policy making. Thirdly, it argues that better diaspora policies are a necessary part of strengthening global migration governance. Better diaspora policy does not mean more diaspora policy but more coherent diaspora policy, in order to avoid the arbitrary inefficiencies and injustices which currently characterise state-diaspora relations in many parts of the world.

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