Collective transnational power and its limits: London-based Nigerian organisations, development at ‘home’ and the importance of local agency and the ‘internal diaspora’.
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40(5) pp. 829–846.
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In the recent wave of enthusiasm about the development role of migration, international diaspora organisations have been posited as powerful actors in the progress of their communities of origin. Drawing on research on Nigerian diaspora organisations in London and their places of intervention in Nigeria, this article seeks to subject such claims to greater empirical scrutiny. To understand the relative importance of these organisations in the development of their ‘home’ communities, their collective transnational interventions are set in the context of contributions made by local actors and internal migrants within Nigeria. It is found that the international diaspora organisations engaged in this study make a limited, almost marginal contribution to local development at ‘home’ and that local actors and internal migrants are much more important drivers of community progress. It is therefore argued that ‘home’-based actors and internal migrants should be given greater recognition in the conceptualisation of how and to what extent migration contributes to local development. To this end, a translocal perspective is advanced that incorporates local, internal and international actors in more effectively comprehending the development role of migration in all its forms.
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