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Refining and disseminating research on the role of emigration states in global migration governance.

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Migration research has focused almost entirely on immigration: it examines the policies of migrant receiving states, regarding countries of origin as passive in migration politics and governance. Yet, as this research revealed, emigration states also matter.

Research questions

The central questions of the research were: How do nation-states deal with emigrants? Why do they do so in particular ways? And how should they do so better?

The research examined a broad range of overlooked interactions between emigration states and emigrant ‘diasporas’, including:

  • rhetorics of ‘engaging the diaspora’;
  • attempts to count expatriates as part of the ‘national’ population;
  • the creation of bureaucratic units for the diaspora;
  • consular service;
  • extra-territorial voting rights and behaviour;
  • international agreements on social security, taxation and extradition; and
  • attempts to win the loyalties of affluent and influential expatriates.

The research demonstrated that such initiatives are surprisingly widespread, and are significant aspects of migration policy and governance.

By examining how and why initiatives like these are implemented, the research helped to understand, explain, and improve diaspora policy making.

The project focused on disseminating research findings and engaging with groups who may be able to benefit from them - including academics, policy makers in the UK and further afield, and community stakeholders such as diaspora groups and charities.

Selected publications

Related research themes