Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series
Edited by Leila Simona Talani and Simon McMahon
Chapter 10: The expat-sensitive state? Globalization, development, and the shifting loci of transmigrant resources
There is no comprehensive inventory of the various policies of migrant sending states towards their expat nationals living and working overseas in the academic literature. Likewise, there is very little systematic cross-national analysis of their evolution, application and effectiveness. There have been positions staked out by various policy analysts on the impact of emigration on development processes and prospects of migrant sending countries such as ‘brain drain’ (e.g. Bhagwati and Hamada 1974; Adams 2003; Beine et al. 2001) and ‘brain circulation’ (e.g., Saxenian 2002, 2005; Tung 2008), particularly as regards migrant remittances. During the past 20 years, the volume of remittances to developing economies has grown sixfold, from $56 billion in 1995 to $334 billion in 2010 (UNDP 2011), not including the share of unrecorded remittance flows transferred via informal economic channels (IOM 2013). These figures now surpass intergovernmental foreign aid transfers and, for some countries, represent their single largest source of capital inflows. A large literature has accumulated on the changing institution of the state under the evolving conditions of globalization. Since the 1990s various scholars have predicted the erosion of the state as an institutional form, resulting from the behavior of footloose capital relentlessly seeking the lowest rents, creating a downward spiral into a global tragedy of the commons; while others have claimed that the nation state as an institution has never been stronger and that we are now in the era of the nation state (Giddens 2008).
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