Governing Diasporas1


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    This paper builds on a paper presented at the annual convention of the International Studies Association, New York, February 15–18, 2009. The author would like to thank Fiona Adamson for accepting critical intellectual engagement and for providing insightful comments to the initial version of this paper. Thank you also to Myra Waterbury and to the two anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments.


The study of migration in general and in IR in particular has generally meant the study of immigration. Yet, sending states increasingly manage and govern numerically impressive “diasporas” abroad. This article assesses the importance of the government of emigrants and diasporas, and reviews the meager theoretical literature on the topic. It then proposes a theoretical framework based on the concept of governmentality and outlines some avenues for further research.