Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
asianstudies masthead
Dr. Martha Selby, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Spring 2006

ANS 361 • Diasporas, International Migration and Development-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29666 TTh
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
Kapur, D.

Course Description

If financial capital flows were the central mobile factor driving economic development in the last half century then international labor mobility is likely to play as central a role in the next half-century. Immigration is likely to have as important (and as complex) an effect on development over the next half century as financial capital had over the last half century driven by global demographic realities. The growing importance of international migration will be driven by structural factors, both demographic and technological, in both developing and developed countries. The economic, political and social impact of such potentially large immigrant inflows has prompted much debate and analysis in advanced industrial countries. But what are the effects of migration, international flows of human capital and diasporas on the country of origin?

This course will seek to understand the economic, political and social consequences of international migration (a flow variable) and diasporas on developing countries. The seminar will examine a range of issues. First, is the phenomenon of greater import in the current (and future) context than it has historically been and if so, why? Second, how and why diasporas differ in the forms of engagement with the host country? We will reexamine one aspect of migration and diasporas that has been the subject of many earlier studies: remittances send by immigrants who work in advanced industrial economies to their countries of origin. These effects range from social insurance to their intra- and inter-national distributional effects to their political consequences. We will also try to understand the characteristics and consequences of non-pecuniary remittances. Do diasporas transmit "social" remittances which reshape individual preferences and social norms and thereby becoming a factor for social and political change? Third, the seminar will examine the human capital effects of international migration ranging from the "brain-drain" of limited human capital to brain-gain effects arising from diasporic networks. Fourth, we will analyze the implications for national level politics of diasporic resource flows. There is a strong sense (but limited evidence) that diasporas can be prone to long-distance nationalism, channeling election financing to more polar political parties. In other cases, there is considerable evidence that flows and political support to sub-national groups are fuelling civil wars from Sri Lanka, to the Balkans and the Caucasian region. Is international migration creating a form of transnational social capital and if so, what are the effects on global governance? Finally, the seminar will try to understand developed country responses and, in particular, how "diasporas" are affecting notions of citizenship.

Grading Policy

1. Class Participation: 20% 2. Each short paper: 20% 3. Research paper: 40%


The following book can be obtained at the University Coop. Devesh Kapur/John McHale. Give Us Your Best and Brightest: The Global Hunt for Talent and Its Impact on the Developing World A course packet will be available from Jenn's Copy.


bottom border