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  • Global Development

Perspectives in Global Development: Spring 2024 Seminar Series

Abstract

How can we explain the causes and effects of global migration from the perspective of sending states and migrants themselves? Rina Agarwala will present on her book The Migration and Development Regime, which introduces a novel analytical framework to help answer this question in India, the world’s largest emigrant exporter and the world’s largest remittance-receiving country.  Drawing on an archival analysis of Indian government documents, a new database of Indian migrants’ transnational organizations, and unique interviews with poor and elite Indian emigrants, recruiters, and government officials, this book exposes the vital role the Indian state, as well as its poor and elite emigrants, have long played in forging and legitimizing class inequalities within India through their management of international emigration.  Since the 1800s, the Indian state has differentially used poor and elite emigrants to accelerate domestic economic growth at the cost of class inequalities, while still retaining political legitimacy. At times, the Indian state has forbidden emigration, at other times it has promoted it.  At times, Indian emigrants have brought substantial material inflows, at other times, they have brought new ideas to support new development agendas within India.  But throughout, Indian emigration practices have deepened class inequalities by imposing different regulations, acquiring different benefits from different classes of emigrants, and making new class pacts--all while remaining invisible in political and academic discussions on Indian development.  On the flip side, since the early 1900s, poor and elite emigrants have resisted and re-shaped Indian development in response to state migration practices.  By taking this long and class-based view, this book recasts contemporary migration not simply as a problematic function of “neoliberalism” or as a development panacea for sending countries, but as a long and dynamic historical process that sending states and migrants have long tried to manage.  In doing so, it re-defines the primary problems of migration, exposes the material and ideological impact that migration has on sending state development, and isolates what is truly novel about contemporary migration.

About the speaker

Rina Agarwala, Professor, Department of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University

Perspectives in Global Development

The Perspectives in Global Development seminars are held Wednesdays from 12:20-1:20 p.m. eastern time during the semester. The series is presented in a hybrid format with some speakers on campus and others appearing via Zoom. All seminars are shown in Warren Hall 175. Students, faculty and the general public are welcome to attend. The series is co-sponsored by the Department of Global Development, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and the School of Integrative Plant Science as part of courses GDEV 4961, AEM 4961, NTRES 4961, GDEV 6960, AEM 6960, and NTRES 6960

Date & Time

April 24, 2024
12:20 pm - 1:10 pm

Rina Agarwala headshot

More information about this event.

Contact Information

Mariah Doyle-Stephenson, Administrative Assistant, Global Development

  • md2237 [at] cornell.edu

Departments

Department of Global Development

School of Integrative Plant Science

Natural Resources and the Environment

Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

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