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Diaspora, Development, and Democracy

by Devesh Kapur

What happens to a country when its skilled workers emigrate? The first book to examine the complex economic, social, and political effects of emigration on India,Diaspora, Development, and Democracyprovides a conceptual framework for understanding the repercussions of international migration on migrants' home countries. Devesh Kapur finds that migration has influenced India far beyond a simplistic "brain drain"--migration's impact greatly depends on who leaves and why. The book offers new methods and empirical evidence for measuring these traits and shows how data about these characteristics link to specific outcomes. For instance, the positive selection of Indian migrants through education has strengthened India's democracy by creating a political space for previously excluded social groups. Because older Indian elites have an exit option, they are less likely to resist the loss of political power at home. Education and training abroad has played an important role in facilitating the flow of expertise to India, integrating the country into the world economy, positively shaping how India is perceived, and changing traditional conceptions of citizenship. The book highlights a paradox--while international migration is a cause and consequence of globalization, its effects on countries of origin depend largely on factors internal to those countries. A rich portrait of the Indian migrant community,Diaspora, Development, and Democracyexplores the complex political and economic consequences of migration for the countries migrants leave behind.

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