Diasporas and Development

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Just as trade, finance, information, and technologies are moving rapidly across borders, so too have labor markets and transnational migrant communities. Migrants are sending large quantities of money back to their countries of origin in the form of philanthropy, remittances, and commercial investments. They are also sharing knowledge and skills learned or developed abroad. Is greater global equity an inevitable consequence of such diaspora philanthropy, or can this giving actually aggravate inequity? Diasporas and Development examines the positive--and sometimes negative--impacts of diaspora engagement in Africa, Asia, Central America, and the Caribbean.

How can the equity impact of this global giving be maximized? Might creative intermediary mechanisms or public policies help channel diaspora philanthropy in positive directions? They also explore motivations for the dark sides of diaspora engagement such as support for extremist organizations, organized crime, ethnic violence, and even civil war. Diasporas and Development aims to deepen the understanding of the promise and pitfalls of diaspora philanthropy and how it might help bridge the distances between societies in an unequal world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674024557
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Series: Studies in Global Equity Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara J. Merz directs the Philanthropy Program of the Harvard University Global Equity Initiative.

Lincoln C. Chen is the President of theChina Medical Board.

Peter F. Geithner is Advisor to the Harvard University Global Equity Initiative and the former Director of Asia Programs at the Ford Foundation.

Adil Najam is a Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

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Table of Contents


Conference Participants


1. Overview: Diasporas and Development

2. Focusing on the State: Government Responses to Diaspora Giving and Implications for Equity

3. What Can Remittances and Other Migrant Flows Do for Equitable Development?

4. The Janus Face of Diasporas

5. Diaspora Philanthropy to Asia

6. African Diasporas

7. Diaspora Engagement in the Caribbean

8. Central American Diasporas and Hometown Associations


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