Explaining the Rise of Diaspora Institutions

Explaining the Rise of Diaspora Institutions
Alan Gamlen
Robin Cohen

At this event, co-sponsored by the Centre for International Studies (CIS), the International Migration Institute (IMI) and COMPAS, Dr. Alan Gamlen asks the question Why do states establish and maintain diaspora engagement institutions?

Formal offices of state dedicated to emigrants and their descendants have been largely overlooked in mainstream political studies, perhaps because they fall in the grey area between domestic politics and international relations. Now, diaspora institutions are found in over half of all United Nations member states, yet we have little theory and large-scale comparative evidence to guide our understanding of how and why they emerge. In response, we identify and then investigate empirical support for three theoretically-grounded perspectives on diaspora institution emergence: instrumentally rational states tapping resources of emigrants and their descendants; value-rational states embracing lost members of the nation-state; institutionally-converging states governing diasporas consistent with global norms.

A working paper by Alan Gamlen on this topic can be read here.

Alan Gamlen (DPhil. Oxon) is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and a Research Associate at Oxford University. He leads the Diasporas Engagement Policies project, part of the five-year Oxford Diasporas Programme funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and is Editor-in-Chief of Migration Studies, an academic journal published by Oxford University Press.

Chair: Robin Cohen (Emeritus Professor and Former Director of the International Migration Institute, University of Oxford)

Discussant: Kalypso Nicoladis (St Antonys College, University of Oxford)