18. Diaspora and Transnational Perspectives on Remittances

  1. Ato Quayson and
  2. Girish Daswani
  1. Anna Lindley

Published Online: 25 JUN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118320792.ch18

A Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism

A Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism

How to Cite

Lindley, A. (2013) Diaspora and Transnational Perspectives on Remittances, in A Companion to Diaspora and Transnationalism (eds A. Quayson and G. Daswani), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118320792.ch18

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 JUN 2013
  2. Published Print: 3 SEP 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188265

Online ISBN: 9781118320792



  • remittances;
  • diaspora;
  • transnationalism;
  • new economics of labor migration;
  • socioeconomic behavior;
  • family relations


Policymakers increasingly seek to shape remittance flows in ways that contribute to development plans, but concentrate primarily on questions of volume and economic impact. By contrast, diaspora and transnational perspectives enrich our understanding of remittance processes in many ways. This chapter highlights four key aspects, drawing on a range of empirical examples, particularly the author's research on Somali remittance dynamics. First, remittances are embedded in complex social formations and carry a variety of meanings: these mediate any attempts to leverage remittances for development purposes. Second, migrants' perspectives on the remittance process often confound established theoretical expectations and highlight variable experiences of remitting and the limits to transnationalism. Third, research evidence challenges conventional temporal and spatial expectations regarding remitting. Finally, the chapter highlights the contrasting contexts of migration and remitting, pointing to the role of needs and disparities in shaping remittance practices. All this points to the value of social and comparative research on remittance processes.