Current research on diaspora and development has two major gaps: 1) inquiry focuses primarily on the potential of remittances and investment and overlooks the broader impacts of diaspora-driven development; and 2) the diaspora-development nexus is often considered a dyadic relationship of diaspora and their ‘home’ countries and overlooks the role of developed ‘host’ nations. Diaspora-driven development occurs when transnational networks forged between their ‘host’ society and ‘home’ country/place of attachment, facilitate economic, knowledge, social, and political interchange. Becoming diasporic means acquiring the agency (the awareness, commitment, and attachments to a wider community) to engage in development beyond the maintenance of familial ties and transmission of remittances. This agency requires attainment of a certain level of settlement, success, and fluency (in education, employment, integration, etc) in the host society. Various aspects of Canadian policy in regard to diasporic potential to positively impact both home and host countries are discussed.
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