Diaspora – a word of Greek origin meaning “dispersion” – is one of the oldest forms of human networking, long predating the invention of nation states. Today, in a time of radically diffused global power, diasporas have been reenergised and retooled as agents of diplomacy and development. Some governments view diaspora as a soft power resource that extends nation-state capacities – ministries, institutions, and programmes have been created to engage diaspora as agents of diplomatic and development goals. At the same time, diasporas are actively engaging arenas of transnational commerce, communications and politics in ways that disrupt normative ideas and practices of global governance.
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