For Home and Host Countries, Diasporas Are a Force to Be Reckoned With

For Home and Host Countries, Diasporas Are a Force to Be Reckoned With
Uyghur activists and community members protest the visit of the Chinese official overseeing Xinjiang province outside the British Foreign Office in London, Feb. 13, 2023 (AP photo by Alastair Grant).

For as long as there has been global migration, there have been diasporas—communities of emigrants, and their descendants, settled in different places who maintain a range of cultural, economic, social and political ties with one another and with their country of origin.

Technological advances in communication, as well as the rise in travel and other processes of globalization, have only intensified the ties between diaspora communities and their countries of origin. The consequences of globalization, which in some places have included increased political instability and economic inequality, have made these ties all the more salient.

Increasingly, diasporas are powerful constituencies in their countries of origin. Despite their physical distance, they influence homeland politics and can also be instrumental in shaping relations between their countries of origin and residence. Yet, home and host government attitudes toward diasporas are decidedly mixed.

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