TransnationalCommunities- not your g r andfather’s diaspor a - Boston CollegeAlvaro Lima, July 2012
AGENDA:I.Globalization – A Different PerspectiveII.Immigration Studies – A Brief BackgroundIII. What is “Immigrant Transnationalism” Anyway?IV.Traditional versus Transnational LensesV.Measuring TransnationalismVI.Some Implications of TransnationalismVII.Transnational Entrepreneurship and its Implications
Globalization – A Different Perspective “compression of our spatial and temporal worlds” (D. Harvey) Globalisation Nation Feudal States Tribes Empires ”Globalization [...] as theGlobalisation as intensification of world-wideAnnihilation of Space/ social relations which linkShrinking of the World distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles“constraints of Geography away and vice versa.” (Giddensrecede” (M. Waters) 1990, p. 64)Dialectics of globalisation and localisation - glocalisation, global cities -“space ... not only homogenised (and global), but always fragmented aswell. ... has not simply shrunk, but ... been transformed” (S. Kirsch)
Immigration Studies – A Brief Background Traditionally migration studies have been concerned with understanding the origins and the impact of cross-borer flows; These flows have been understood mostly as a one way movement from sending countries to receiving countries; Immigration policies have been almost entirely focused on procedures and prohibitions governing admissions (who? how many? and what kind of immigrants should be admitted?).
There is a widespread belief that migration is caused by poverty, economic stagnation, and overpopulation in the countries of origin unrelated to receiving countries’ foreign policies, economic needs and broader international economic conditions; While overpopulation, poverty, and economic stagnation all create pressures for migration, there are systematic, structural relations between receiving countries’ policies and migration flows with worldwide evidence of a considerable patterning in the geography of migrations. poverty stagnation overpopulation etc…
Foreign-Born Population of Rich OECD Countries from Developing Countries Population Top Five Total from Percent of Source Top Five Source Country Population Developing Total Countries Countries (millions) Countries Population (percent of (millions) total)United States 281.4 10.1 45.2 Mexico, Philippines, Puerto 28.4 Rico, India, China Morocco, Ecuador,Spain 40.8 1.5 3.7 44.2 Colombia, Argentina, VenezuelaFrance 58.5 3.7 6.4 20.4 Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, VietnamUK 58.8 5.1 30.1 India, Pakistan, 3.0 Bangladesh, Jamaica, South AfricaNetherlands 16.0 1.2 7.6 48.6 Suriname, Turkey, Indonesia, Morocco, Netherlands AntillesPortugal 10.4 0.5 4.5 62.8 Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, Cape Verde, VenezuelaJapan 127 1.0 69.6 North Korea, South Korea, 1.2 China, Brazil, Philippines Source: Let Their People Come, Lant Pritchett, 2006
Immigrant integration policies (education, training, placement, ESOL, health care, entrepreneurship, citizenship, etc..) are skeletal, ad hoc, under-funded and dominated by the ideology of assimilation – the great melting pot of nations; As Nathan Glazer puts it, “the settlement, adaptation, and progress, or lack of it, of immigrants is largely, in the U.S. context, up to them.” labor market language acquisition housing education etc…
Re-integration policies for those returning are generally inexistent making the re-settlement process prone to failure feeding back emigration: labor market housing education etc…
What is “Immigrant Transnationalism” Anyway?Transnationalism is “the process by which immigrants forge and sustainmulti-stranded social relations that link together their societies of originand settlement… (they) take actions, make decisions, and developsubjectivities and identities embedded in networks of relationships thatconnect them simultaneously to two or more nation states” (Mandaville2001:45)
Drivers of Transnationalism Developments in the means of transportation and communications have changed the relations between people and places (costs); International migrations have become crucial to the demographic future of many developed countries; Global political transformations and new international legal regimes weakened the state as the only legitimate source of rights; Fostered by global consumption, global production, and immigration, cultural hybridization are substituting folkloric romanticism and political nationalism enshrined as essences of national cultures;
Contexts of exit and modes of incorporation facilitate or impede, foster or discourage, demand or preclude some or all cross-border activities: Contexts of Exit and Incorporation Context of Exit: Context of Incorporation: Education Level Inclusion & Exclusion Race & Ethnicity Structures Family Wealth Alien versus Citizenship Urban versus Rural Rights Origin Government & Other Government & Other Support Systems Support Systems Race and Ethnicity etc. Structures etc.
Traditional versus Transnational LensesTraditional Lenses: Transnational Lenses:immigration conceptualized as a bipolar relation immigration conceptualized as flows of cross-between sending and receiving countries (moving border economic, political and social-culturalfrom there to here) activities (being here and there)emigration is the result of individual search for emigration is the result of geopolitical interests,economic opportunity, political freedom, etc. global linkages, and economic globalizationmigrants are assumed to be the poorest of the migrants are not the poorest of the poor nor dopoor they come from the poorest nationsimmigrants occupy low-skilled jobs in growth in the service and technology-based jobsagriculture, construction, and manufacturing create opportunities for low as well as high skilled migrantsImmigrants steadily shift their contextual focus, After the initial movement, migrants continue toeconomic and social activities to receiving maintain ties with their country of origincountryimmigration should not bring about significant immigration creates hybrid societies with a richerchange in the receiving society cultural milieu 12
Monthly Remittance by Nationality $875 $900 $800 MEASURING TRANSNATIONALIS $700 $600 $500 $398 ABOVE AVERAGE M $400 AVERAGE = $294 $331 $278 $274 $300 BELOW AVERAGE $218 $192 $188 $185 $177 $200 $113 $100 $- . r zil do r co al a an a n R m b i a ag u a do ras b a Bra Ecua éxi atem uy i ca olo Nica r l va du Cu M u G m in C Sa H on G Do El Purchasing of Nostalgic Products Among Brazilians 50.0% 45.4% Financial Accounts in Country of Origin - Brazil 45.0% 40.0% 37.6% 35.0%40.0% 30.0%35.0% 25.0% 20.5% 28.9% 17.8% 20.0%30.0% 26.0% 15.0%25.0% 10.0% 5.1% 4.9% 3.7% 5.0% 1.6% 0.8% 0.2%20.0% 0.0% ce s D s in es l s s pi ,C ing ga z ks ho tte em he rs ds Ds o th / m a Boo lco igare t It Ot15.0% n s a os , D V Cl rs A C Cr af od pe Fo i de pa10.0% V ws 5.5% Ne5.0% 1.6% 0.3%0.0% Does not Checking Savings Credit card Investment Foreign have / NR account account account currency savings
Help Beyond Remittances50.0% 46.6%45.0%40.0% 36.80%35.0% ABOVE AVERAGE30.0% 27.0% 22.7%25.0% AVERAGE = 19.2% 20.0%20.0% 15.3% 14.0% BELOW AVERAGE15.0% 10.3% 9.1%10.0% 5.7% 3.7% 5.0% 0.0% . a il or ras ia ua nR o ba or la ya n Br az ad du mb rag ica xi c Cu ad ma Gu Ec u n lo ca n Mé alv ate Ho Co Ni mi El S Gu Do MEASURING Support of Hometown Associations TRANSNATIONALIS 30.0% 26.3% M 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% ABOVE AVERAGE 12.4% 10.0% 10.0% AVERAGE = 6.7% 6.7% 5.0% 4.0% 3.5% BELOW AVERAGE 5.0% 3.3% 2.8% 2.4% 0.0% 0.0% a R. r a il do r as bi ua o n ala o a ya n Br az ua ur m ra g xic ca em ad Cu b Gu Ec nd lo i ca Me in i at alv Ho Co N m Gu El S 14 Do
Some Implications of Transnationalism Portability becomes crucial for transnational migrants – education and certification processes; investment and retirement schemes, health insurance, etc.; The concept of “community,” “society,” as well as “the local,” must be redefined as space of flows (relationships), pluri-local and nation-state-boarder spanning, instead of bounded geographic places – geographic and social container spaces; Transnational immigrant entrepreneurs’ contributions to the economy have to be recognized as such and not as just “ethnic;” Nation-state ideals of identity in both sending and receiving countries are challenged by transnational practices – double citizenship. States must re-conceive immigration and adapt their policies and practices to accommodate transnational realities;
Transnational entrepreneurship “Keeping Feet in Both Worlds” “…the many social connections and organizations that tie migrants and non-migrants to one another create a border-spanning arena that enables migrants, if they choose, to remain active in both worlds…” Transnational entrepreneurs have played an important role in facilitating international trade, investment, and “diaspora tourism;” There is a remarkable disparity between the dynamism of transnational enterprises and governmental misunderstanding or ignorance of the phenomenon;
Transnational entrepreneurs are a heterogeneous group coming from many countries, crossing ethnic, immigrant, and minority boundaries, and possessing different motivations and experiences: The current market capitalization of publicly traded immigrant-founded venture- backed companies in the United States exceeds $500 billion, adding significant value to the American economy. About 50% of Indian and Chinese entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley “have set up subsidiaries, joint ventures, subcontracting, or other operations in their native countries” (Saxenian, Mtoyama, & Quan, 2002:37); For instance, 39% of the 289 companies located at the Hsinchu science-based industrial park near Taipei were started by U.S.-educated Taiwanese engineers with professional experience in Silicon Valley. Seventy of the firms maintain offices in Silicon Valley to obtain workers, technology, capital, and business opportunities; Likewise, India’s technology-oriented diaspora stand behind much of the FDI in the country’s emerging technology hubs of Bangalore and Hyderabad; About 60% of Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs in the U.S. are transnational (Portes, Haller, & Guarnizo, 2002); Migrant-founded venture-backed public companies today employ an estimated 220,000 people in the United States and over 400,000 people globally.
Preliminary research suggests 4 distinct types of immigrant transnational enterprises (Landolt et. al. 1999): Circuit firms - involved in the transfer of goods and remittances across countries ranging from an array of informal international couriers to large formal firms; Cultural enterprises - rely on their daily contacts with the home country and depend on the desire of immigrants to acquire and consume cultural goods from their country such as shows, CDs, newspapers, videos, etc.; Ethnic Enterprises - are small retail firms catering to the immigrant community which depend on a steady supply of imported goods, such as foodstuffs and clothing from the home country; Return migrant enterprises - are firms established by returnees that rely on their contacts in the United States. They include restaurants, video stores, auto sales and repairs, office supplies, etc.;
Transnational entrepreneurs do better economically than their waged co-ethnicsand pure local immigrant entrepreneurs (Portes and Zhou 1999; Logan, Alba, andMcNulty 1994; Wilson and Martin 1982): Activities Linking Immigrants to Their Home Countries by Type of Economic Adaptation Employee/ Ethnic Transnational Wage Worker Activity Entrepreneur Entrepreneur % % % Imports Goods from Abroad 8.2 9.9 31.9 Exports Goods 6.5 8.9 18.1 Invests in Business in Home Country 5.9 11.7 26.4 Invests in Real Estate in Home Country 20.7 28.2 41.9 Has Been an International Courier 10.1 8.3 23.6 Hires at Least One Employee in Home Country 0 30.8 42.2 Frequency of Business Travel Abroad: At least twice per year 7.1 17.3 28.4 Six times or more per year 0.9 6.1 14.6 Source: CIEP, 1998 Ethnic Transnational Entrepreneur (% ) Entrepreneur (% ) Source: The Comparative Immigrant Entrepreneurship Project (CIEP); Center for Migration and Development (CMD); Princeton University.
Some Implications of Transnational Entrepreneurship: Transnational entrepreneurship is a promising form of integration;Transnational integration and transnational entrepreneurship are highly relevant to modern workings of global and gateway cities;Transnational integration and transnational entrepreneurship provide opportunities for business, social entrepreneurs, and governments;Finally, the model presented can be generalized to include ethnic and non-ethnic forms of social settlement and connections spanning multiple borders.
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