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Migration, Diasporas and Development: Some Critical Perspectives

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  • Oliver Bakewell

    ()
    (University of Oxford)

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    Abstract

    This article poses three questions about the recent resurgence of academic and policy interest in migration, development and diasporas. First, over many years the connection between migration and development has been of marginal interest for many of those involved in the field of development studies; in many cases, where it has been considered, migration has been seen as a symptom of a development failure and cause of further underdevelopment. What has changed to bring about the dramatic turnaround in views in the last decade? Second, governments and development organisations are increasingly focusing on the role of 'diasporas' in the process of development. The attemps to co-opt diasporas into existing development practice tend to assume that they share a common set of interests and aspirations with the development industry. Here, we ask who is included within these diasporas and why should they be expected to contribute to development? This leads to the third question: what is the nature of development in which we are anticipating that the migration process and diasporas should play a role? This article argues that existing models of development are inherently sedentary and struggle to incorporate migration. In the increasingly mobile world new concepts of development are required. An open and critical dialogue between diaspora members and the development industry may help to achieve this.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 229 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 787-802

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    Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:229:y:2009:i:6:p:787-802

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    Related research

    Keywords: Migration; development; diasporas; Africa; remittances; transnationalism;

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    References

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    1. Michael A. Clemens & Lant Pritchett, 2008. "Income per Natural: Measuring Development for People Rather Than Places," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(3), pages 395-434.
    2. Ketkar, Suhas L. & Ratha, Dilip, 2004. "Development finance via diaspora bonds track record and potential," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4311, The World Bank.
    3. Lipton, Michael, 1980. "Migration from rural areas of poor countries: The impact on rural productivity and income distribution," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-24, January.
    4. Devesh KAPUR, 2004. "Remittances: The New Development Mantra?," G-24 Discussion Papers 29, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    5. Dilip Ratha, 2006. "Leveraging remittances for development," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, pages 173-185.
    6. Cole, William E & Sanders, Richard D, 1985. "Internal Migration and Urban Employment in the Third World," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 481-94, June.
    7. Stark, Oded, 1984. "Rural-to-Urban Migration in LDCs: A Relative Deprivation Approach," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 475-86, April.
    8. Louka T. Katseli & Robert E.B. Lucas & Theodora Xenogiani, 2006. "Effects of Migration on Sending Countries: What Do We Know?," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 250, OECD Publishing.
    9. Bakewell, Oliver, 2009. "South-South Migration and Human Development: Reflections on African Experiences," MPRA Paper 19185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Fox, Jonathan A & Bada, Xochitl, 2008. "Migrant Organization and Hometown Impacts in Rural Mexico," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt7jc3t42v, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    11. Oliver Bakewell, 2009. "South-South Migration and Human Development: Reflections on African Experiences," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-07, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
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