Diaspora, Development, and Democracy: The Domestic Impact of International Migration from India

Diaspora, Development, and Democracy: The Domestic Impact of International Migration from India

Diaspora, Development, and Democracy: The Domestic Impact of International Migration from India

Diaspora, Development, and Democracy: The Domestic Impact of International Migration from India


What happens to a country when its skilled workers emigrate? The first book to examine the complex economic, social, and political effects of emigration on India, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy provides a conceptual framework for understanding the repercussions of international migration on migrants' home countries.

Devesh Kapur finds that migration has influenced India far beyond a simplistic "brain drain"--migration's impact greatly depends on who leaves and why. The book offers new methods and empirical evidence for measuring these traits and shows how data about these characteristics link to specific outcomes. For instance, the positive selection of Indian migrants through education has strengthened India's democracy by creating a political space for previously excluded social groups. Because older Indian elites have an exit option, they are less likely to resist the loss of political power at home. Education and training abroad has played an important role in facilitating the flow of expertise to India, integrating the country into the world economy, positively shaping how India is perceived, and changing traditional conceptions of citizenship. The book highlights a paradox--while international migration is a cause and consequence of globalization, its effects on countries of origin depend largely on factors internal to those countries.

A rich portrait of the Indian migrant community, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy explores the complex political and economic consequences of migration for the countries migrants leave behind.


In recent years, the analysis of globalization—its multiple causes, manifestations, and complex consequences—has become a staple of discussion within academia and public discourse. the innumerable facets of globalization have given the term a certain elasticity and made it difficult to reconcile its multiple complexities. There is little disagreement regarding the reality of the unprecedented growth (at least since World War II) of cross-border flows of capital, goods, and services. However, there is less agreement as to the relative importance of the various factors and mechanisms that are facilitating and driving these flows. On the one hand, many agree that technological changes, which have resulted in a sharp decline in the transaction costs of global goods and services trade, whether containerization (in the case of manufactured goods) or information technologies (in the case of services), have undoubtedly played an important role. There is less agreement, however, as to how technological changes have interacted with other driving or intermediary variables, such as the role of ideas (particularly the triumph of so-called neoliberal economic ideas), the role of international organizations (especially the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organization [WTO]), the role of major powers (particularly the United States), and last, changes within countries themselves. There is least consensus on the welfare implic ations of globalization, both among and within countries, as well its links with contemporaneous complex phenomena such as climatic changes and terrorism.

the literature on this subject is vast. For some of the more lucid (and contentious)
analyses, see Jagdish Bhagwati, In Defense of Globalization (New York: Oxford Univer
sity Press, 2004); Nayan Chanda, Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers,
and Warriors Shaped Globalization
(New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007); Dani
Rodrik, Has Globalization Gone Too Far? (Washington, DC: Institute for International
Economics, 1998); Jeffrey D. Sachs and Andrew M. Warner, “Economic Reform and the
Process of Global Integration,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 26, no. 1 (1995):
1-118; Joseph E. Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents (New York: W.W. Norton &
Company, 2002); Martin Wolf, Why Globalization Works (New Haven, CT: Yale University
Press, 2004).

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