Introduction: Diasporas in the New Global Age
Diasporas are the human face of the globalization process. The contemporary importance of diasporas can be related to the seemingly contradictory historical processes of consolidation of national–cultural identities and large international migration. Though the phenomenon of migration is as old as the existence of humanity, international migration on a large scale started during colonial times. Labour demand, political conflicts, technological changes and trade and commerce, together, contribute to international migration becoming one the most important determinant of modern global change. The demand for plantation workers in the former colonies, due to the abolition of slavery, is considered the first spur for international migration. Post-colonial times, too, witnessed a new demand for labour from developed countries, including the United States and Europe. This labour trend mostly constituted semi-skilled workers and professionals. The sustained human mobility across national boundaries in the last two centuries has created enormous impact on every aspect of human life, today. Almost every country is affected by international migration, which is further accelerated by the development in technologies of transport and communication. As a result, a staggering 215 million—about 3 % of the total global population—now lives outside their land of origin (UNCSD 2012, p. 1). Many more are expected to become part of this process in the near future due to demographic, social and economic and political reasons.
KeywordsHost Country Home Country International Migration Brain Drain African Diaspora
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