Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Comparative Study of Diaspora Engagement Policies in Africa


Area Studies


Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Date Range



Social and Behavioral Sciences


Over the past decade, the question of migration has come to the forefront of the international agenda through a number of important events and policy initiatives devoted to what has been referred to as the migration-development nexus. Against this backdrop, many governments in Africa have developed policies and strategies aimed at engaging their diasporas in the development process. Diaspora engagement policies have thus become a primary channel through which migrant source states are interacting with their diasporas. The paper seeks to offer a comparative analysis of these national efforts and assess their soundness in regard to the best practices and the body of knowledge that has emerged from the field of diaspora engagement policies research. Using Alan Gamlens typology of diaspora engagement policies in comparative research, the focus of this paper is on three high-level sets of policies aimed respectively at a) building capacity; b) extending rights to the diaspora; c) extracting obligations from the diaspora. I contend that these diaspora engagement policies are not only changing the political landscape and institutional architecture of many states, they are also subtly reframing the basic terms of citizenship and sovereignty to which we have been accustomed.

Conference Name

2015 Africa Conference

Conference Location

Austin, TX

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