Re-orienting the Diaspora–Development Nexus

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Since the 1990s diasporic communities have increasingly been recognized as agents of development, with states, citizens, and the global development community keen to harness their knowledge, skills, and economic capital. Approaches to the ‘diaspora option’ tend to be rooted in the discourses, practices, and products of neoliberal globalization. Yet the most recent decade of the 21st century has witnessed a backlash against this cosmopolitanism. This paper pushes for a re-orientation of the diaspora-development nexus that looks to respond to the contemporary realities of (and the backlash against) neoliberal globalization: (re)bordering, European and North American ethnonationalism, nativist politics, and anti-migrant discourses. Thinking through a post-diasporic lens foregrounds the interconnected geographies, the complex temporalities, and the (racialized) inequalities within the diaspora–development nexus. The paper concludes that through a post-diasporic lens the diaspora–development nexus can be centred on everyday social, cultural, material, and political circumstances and experiences and feelings of belonging through multiple locales, re-orienting the nexus to advance the everyday socio-economic, cultural, and political liberation of diasporic communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-51
Number of pages27
JournalDiaspora Studies
Issue number1
Early online date4 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2022


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