Article: "Networks do not float freely: (Dis)entangling the politics of Tamil diaspora inclusion in development governance" in Global Networks

Catherine Craven's picture

Dear colleagues,

I am very excited to share with you my newest publication in Global Networks, which examines the relational and spatial dimensions of diaspora engagement practices in the international development field, and makes the case for a re-territorialised understanding of such practices.

The article is available open access here:

Networks do not float freely: (Dis)entangling the politics of Tamil diaspora inclusion in development governance

Scholarship on diaspora engagement strategies has suggested that such strategies are embedded either in binary state‐diaspora relations, or global structures of domination. This paper builds on the idea that diaspora engagement is contextually embedded but complicates the understanding of this context, by moving beyond structuralist or state‐centric models. It draws on a range of relational theories, to suggest that diaspora engagement strategies in the development field are contextually embedded in complex entanglements of power relations. Data from a multi‐method study of the Tamil diaspora in Toronto, from 2009 to 2018, reveals that inclusion in these diaspora engagement strategies is shaped by an entanglement of power relations, which include social networks, and legitimacy claims in overlapping cultural fields, but also spatial relations, whereby geography and material resources are often‐overlooked dimensions of this space.

Wishing everyone a healthy March 2021!

Warm regards,


Catherine Craven
PhD Candidate & Teaching Assistant, Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS University of London
Research Assistant & Project Coordinator, EU H2020 Migration Governance and Asylum Crises (MAGYC)
Project Coordinator, London Migration Research Group