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Keywords:

  • transnational migration;
  • transnationalism;
  • development;
  • migrant associations;
  • community

Abstract

Migrant networks and organisations have emerged as development agents. They interact with state institutions in flows of financial remittances, knowledge, and political ideas. In the discursive dimension, the new enthusiasm on the part of OECD states and international organisations, such as the World Bank, for migrant remittances, migrant associations and their role in development, is a sign of two trends which have coincided. Firstly, community as a principle of development has come to supplement principles of social order such as the market and the state. Secondly, in the current round of the migration–development nexus, migrants in general and transnational collective actors in particular have been constituted by states and international organisations as a significant agent. In the institutional dimension, agents such as hometown associations, networks of businesspersons, epistemic networks and political diasporas have emerged as collective actors. These formations are not unitary actors, and they are frequently in conflict with states and communities of origin. The analysis concludes with reflections of how national states structure the transnational spaces in which non-state actors are engaged in cross-border flows, leading towards a tight linkage between migration control, immigrant incorporation and development cooperation. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.