The Irish Government’s Diaspora Strategy: Towards a Care Agenda

  • Mark Boyle
  • Adrian Kavanagh
Part of the Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship book series (MDC)


This chapter places under critical scrutiny the Irish government’s emerging diaspora engagement strategy. It brings to the fore the ethics of recent efforts by the Irish state to develop new relationships with “the Global Irish.” Resisting frameworks which construe diaspora engagement strategies as biopolitical acts which reduce “diaspora” to a governmental category, we propose an alternative framing which mobilises feminist care ethics and which strives to nurture and fortify relationships built upon mutuality, reciprocity and shared mission. We ruminate on the meaning and implications of recasting the Irish diaspora engagement in terms of a care agenda.

Works Cited

  1. Agamben, G. 2011. The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Economy and Government. Redwood City: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Akenson, D.H. 1996. The Irish Diaspora: A Primer. Toronto: P.D. Meany.Google Scholar
  3. Ancien, D., M. Boyle, and R. Kitchin. 2009. Exploring Diaspora Strategies: Report on an International Workshop. Maynooth: NIRSA.Google Scholar
  4. Barnett, C. 2011. Geography and Ethics: Placing Life in the Space of Reasons. Progress in Human Geography 36 (3): 379–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boyle, M., and E.L.-E. Ho. 2017. Sovereign Power, Biopower, and the Reach of the West in an Age of Diaspora-Centred Development. Antipode 49 (3): 577–596.Google Scholar
  6. Boyle, M., and R. Kitchin. 2013. Diaspora-Centred Development: Current Practice, Critical Commentaries and Research Priorities. In Diaspora and Development: Perspectives, Issues and Practices, ed. S. Sahoo and P.K. Pattanaik, 17–38. New Delhi: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. Culligan, M.J., and P. Cherici. 2000. The Wandering Irish in Europe: Their Influence from the Dark Ages to Modern Times. London: Constable and Company.Google Scholar
  8. de Haas, H. 2012. The Migration and Development Pendulum: A Critical View on Research and Policy. International Migration 50: 8–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dean, M. 2013. The Signature of Power: Sovereignty, Governmentality and Biopolitics. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Delano, A., and A. Gamlen. 2014. Comparing and Theorizing State–Diaspora Relations. Political Geography 41: 43–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). 2015. Global Irish: Ireland’s Diaspora Policy. Dublin: DFAT.Google Scholar
  12. Devlin Trew, J. 2013. Leaving the North: Migration and Memory, Northern Ireland, 1921–2011. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Dzenovska, D. 2013. The Great Departure: Rethinking National(ist) Common Sense. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 39 (2): 209–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fitzgerald, P. 2006. Mapping the Ulster Diaspora 1607–1960. Familia 22: 1–17.Google Scholar
  15. Fitzgerald, P., and B. Lambkin. 2008. Migration in Irish history, 1607–2007. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Foucault, M. 1977. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Paris: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  17. Gamlen, A. 2014. Diaspora Institutions and Diaspora Governance. International Migration Review 48: 180–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gray, B. 2012. Irish State Diaspora Engagement—“The Network State” and “Netizens.” Éire-Ireland 47: 244–270.Google Scholar
  19. Ho, E.L.-E. 2011. Claiming the Diaspora: Elite Mobility, Sending State Strategies, and the Spatialities of Citizenship. Progress in Human Geography 40: 1–16.Google Scholar
  20. Ho, E.L.-E., M. Boyle, and B.S.A. Yeoh. 2015. Recasting Diaspora Strategies Through Feminist Care Ethics. Geoforum 59: 206–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Joseph, J. 2012. The Social in the Global: Social Theory, Governmentality and Global Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kuznetsov, Y., ed. 2013. How Can Talent Abroad Induce Development at Home? Towards a Pragmatic Diaspora Agenda. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.Google Scholar
  23. Larner, W. 2007. Expatriate Experts and Globalising Governmentalities: The New Zealand Diaspora Strategy. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 32: 331–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Larner, W., and W. Walters, eds. 2004. Global Governmentality: Governing International Spaces. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Mohan, G. 2008. Making Neoliberal States of Development: The Ghanaian Diaspora and the Politics of Homelands. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 26: 464–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Noddings, N. 1984. Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  27. O’Sullivan, P., ed. 1992. The Irish World Wide: Patterns of Migration. Leicester: Leicester University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Pellerin, H., and B. Mullings. 2013. The ‘Diaspora Option’, Migration and the Changing Political Economy of Development. Review of International Political Economy 20: 89–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ragazzi, F. 2009. Governing Diasporas. International Political Sociology 3: 378–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. ———. 2014. A Comparative Analysis of Diaspora Policies. Political Geography 41: 74–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sinatti, G., and C. Horst. 2015. Migrants as Agents of Development: Diaspora Engagement Discourse and Practice in Europe. Ethnicities 15: 134–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tronto, J.C. 1993. Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 2013. Caring Democracy: Markets, Equality, and Justice. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Boyle
    • 1
  • Adrian Kavanagh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyMaynooth UniversityMaynoothRepublic of Ireland

Personalised recommendations