• Hugo Bréant

What if diasporas didn't think about development?: a critical approach of the international disc

Hugo Bréant, « What if diasporas didn't think about development?: a critical approach of the international discourse on migration and development », African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, Volume 6, Numéro 2, Dossier « Migration, Diaspora and Development: Challenges for Africa in the 21st Century », 2013, pages 99-112.

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This paper explores the links between migration and development emphasized by international organizations. This discourse, which encourages migrants to work at their level, toward the development of their country has become consensual. But if one looks closely, these natural links seem fragile, both in international migration policies and social experiments of migration. By studying the case of the Togolese migration, this article shows that the institutionalization of this new paradigm is weak and that the recent implementation of migration policies in Togo just seems to be an answer to the requirements of international partners. More than a real programmatic issue, the role of the diaspora in development becomes an obligatory resource in negotiations with sponsors. Then, if the discourse on development began to emerge among migrants themselves, it is not necessarily synonymous with the growth of a strong culture of transnational or diasporic commitment. Few associative structures are actually created and migration trajectories and histories are first and foremost thought of in an individual or familial frame, far from social imperatives of community development. Finally, if we analyze the more general logic of these migrations in Togo, while they seem to foster identity transformations they may primarily function as a driving force behind reproduction of social inequalities in the country of origin.

Keywords : migration and development ; international organizations ; doxa ; Togo.

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