Chapter 3: Diasporas and their rising importance to the international political economy
Diasporas have become increasingly important in driving political and economic ties between their countries of origin (COO) and their countries of residence (COR). In this chapter, the author examines the role of diasporas and diaspora organizations in influencing this relationship. The chapter starts with a brief explanation of what diasporas are, along with an overview of the largest and most prominent modern diasporas in the world. It will then explain some of the key roles that diasporas play in the overall economic and political engagement between their COO and COR. The author explores some of the major diaspora organizations and their influence on trade and public policy. An overview of the policies that COOs are using to engage their own diasporas as strategic assets in the CORs will be provided. The chapter concludes by looking at some of the emerging issues for diasporas, and how these issues could impact the role of diasporas in driving the relationship between their COOs and CORs. “Diaspora” is derived from a Greek word meaning “a scattering or sowing of seeds” and refers to the spread of a given ethnic group outside of their country of origin (COO) (Merriam-Webster’s Online dictionary, “Diaspora”). The term diaspora was traditionally used to describe the Jews who were exiled from the historic land of Israel in biblical times.
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