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Diaspora, Development, and Democracy

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

Devesh Kapur
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 344
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  • Book Info
    Diaspora, Development, and Democracy
    Book Description:

    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 Democracyprovides 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 Democracyexplores the complex political and economic consequences of migration for the countries migrants leave behind.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3508-9
    Subjects: Sociology, History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  5. CHAPTER 1 The Missing Leg of the Globalization Triad: International Migration
    (pp. 1-22)

    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...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Analytical Framework and Research Methodology
    (pp. 23-49)

    It is one thing to recognize that international migration and global diasporas may have significant effects on migrants’ countries of origin. Yet understanding the nature of these effects, their relative magnitude, the specific mechanisms through which they work, and of course, why they vary across countries and over time, presents a challenging research agenda. Are the effects broad-based or sector and region specific? To what extent do economic effects mediate the political impact? Or does the causal chain run the other way? How does selection of the migrants themselves matter and why? How are the effects magnified or attenuated by...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Selection Characteristics of Emigration from India
    (pp. 50-83)

    The impact of international migration on the country of origin is critically dependent on the characteristics of the migrants: who leaves, for where, when, and why? However, as you saw in chapter 2, even trying to assess something as seemingly evident aswho leavesis anything but easy. For instance, focusing on just one attribute of a migrant group—say, their education—reveals the complexity surrounding this line of research. Most of the information we have on emigrants pertains to their level of education. This is certainly important, but so is the type and quality of that education. The loss...

  8. CHAPTER 4 Economic Effects
    (pp. 84-123)

    In what ways does international migration impact the sending country’s economy? What are the mechanisms through which these effects are amplified or attenuated? In this chapter, I address these questions using evidence from India, while specifying the mechanisms that transmit and leverage migrants’ economic effects on the home country: the diaspora’s overseas network, their role as reputational intermediaries or credibility-enhancing agents for domestic economic actors, and their impact through financial flows including foreign direct investment (FDI) and remittances.¹

    First, I analyze the trade- and investment-enhancing effects resulting from the Indian diaspora’s network and their role as reputational intermediaries. This analysis...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Social Remittances: Migration and the Flow of Ideas
    (pp. 124-161)

    In january 2003, the Indian Government organized the firstPravasi Bharatiya Divas—a celebration of overseas Indians that mixed emotion and sentimentality with business and economic opportunities. In his inaugural address, the Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee inevitably asked for help from the distinguished “alumni” of his country in building the country. But the “ask” was not for money:

    We do not want your investments, we want your ideas.

    We do not want your riches; we want the richness of your experience.¹

    With financial remittances having emerged as the largest source of net financial flows to developing countries, it...

  10. CHAPTER 6 International Migration and the Paradox of India’s Democracy
    (pp. 162-184)

    While the previous chapters examined migration’s economic and cognitive impact on India, this chapter examines its effects on India’s democracy. As the preceding observation by the late Myron Weiner suggests, the endurance of India’s democracy has been an exception to Western theories of democratic government. More than sixty years after independence, India continues to remain a vigorous democracy, despite the predictions of many scholars. In this chapter, I argue that emigration from India has had a significant impact in sustaining India’s democratic tradition. In a country of limited resources, emigration has allowed social groups constituting the “old” political elite to...

  11. CHAPTER 7 The Indian Diaspora and Indian Foreign Policy: Soft Power or Soft Underbelly?
    (pp. 185-209)

    International migration has played an important role in shaping various aspects of India’s political economy. Previous chapters have examined a range of these effects on India’s economy and domestic politics, focusing on several channels through which emigration influences the sending country, includingabsenceandreturn. In this chapter, I turn to the implications of another channel,diaspora, for India’s foreign policy. Emigration from India prior to its independence created a large diaspora in regions ranging from the Caribbean to Southeast Asia. After independence, and particularly since the 1970s, an upsurge in migration from India—first to the Gulf and later...

  12. CHAPTER 8 Civil or Uncivil Transnational Society? The Janus Face of Long-Distance Nationalism
    (pp. 210-252)

    Earlier in this book, I presented an analytical framework for examining the impact of migration on the sending country. As I outlined in chapter 2, the political economy effects of migration can occur through four channels: theprospectof people leaving, theirabsence,diaspora, andreturn. In chapter 5, I examined the impact of the return channel on changing preferences and expectations. In chapter 6, I analyzed the effects of the absence channel on India’s democratic tradition. In chapter 7, I shifted focus toward thediasporachannel, examining the impact of the Indian diaspora on India’s foreign policy. This chapter...

  13. CHAPTER 9 Spatially Unbound Nations
    (pp. 253-272)

    “[P]eople have Moved across India’s borders over thousands of years, enriching India as well as the rest of the world.”² Amartya Sen’s observation about India could plausibly be made for any country. After all, the history of humanity is a history of migration and material progress, starting from its antecedents in Africa. The wider the historical canvas, the more likely a transformative force of history will have an affirmative ring to it. But if the historical canvas is more limited, as in this study, the colors appear more muted—and the doubts somewhat greater.

    The first great migrations from India...

  14. APPENDIX I Survey of Emigration from India (SEI)
    (pp. 273-280)
  15. APPENDIX II Survey of Asian Indians in the United States (SAIUS): Methodology
    (pp. 281-286)
  16. APPENDIX III Survey of Asian Indians in the United States (SAIUS): Questionnaire
    (pp. 287-292)
  17. APPENDIX IV Database on India’s Elites (1950–2000)
    (pp. 293-296)
  18. Bibliography
    (pp. 297-314)
  19. Index
    (pp. 315-325)