International Conference on Global Migration: Rethinking Skills, Knowledge and Culture

International Conference

Global Migration: Rethinking Skills, Knowledge and Culture

26-27 November 2016

Organised by Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism, New Delhi

Last Date for Receiving Abstract: 30 June 2016

Abstract Submission time is Over

Shortlisted Abstracts


Globalization has brought about a new paradigm where socio-cultural, political, and economic landscapes get exposed to unexpected dynamics of challenges and change. It thus becomes a matter of both challenge and opportunity for the home and host countries.

On the one hand, the economic changes over the past hundred years that includes close integration, opening of trade, ideas and information, have resulted in benefitting the industrially developed economies. On the other hand, for the developing economies, the challenges remain though of different level and kind. However, the changed circumstances globally also bring along opportunities for these states to help them overcome the challenges.The increased movement of people has resulted in theglobal development of new ideas, intercultural linkages, democratisation of global space etc. In this scenario, diaspora has emerged as an important player in the transnational sphere for both thehome and host countries.

The actual process of engaging diaspora in the development process remains a challenge for the home countries. Policies result from a complex interplay of local and global conditions, including the role of lobby groups, socio-economic and political conditions of the country, level of institutional development, technological progress. This engagement process is also mediated by the social and cultural identities of the diaspora that are not just diverse but also contested. The challenge faced by the developing countries in this regard is very different from that of the industrially advanced states.

In recent years, the policies related to human and financial capital have been gaining serious attention. Contrary to the idea of brain drain that dominated the development debate in the 60s and 70s among the scholars and policy makers of developing countries, diasporas in the age of internet are viewed as instruments of human, financial and social development of both the host and the home state. Many developing countries in the recent past have been playing a significant role in channelizing the resources through various institutional mechanisms by engaging both the government and non-governmental institutions. Developing countries have managed to channelise financial resources from their diaspora quite effectively. India has emerged as the largest recipient of remittances in the world surpassing China in the last few years. Financial capital accumulated by diaspora abroad is often repatriated to the country of origin in the form of remittances or direct investments. Human capital plays an important role in this regard and is effectively transferred across borders with the use of ICT, creating opportunities in several sectors such as higher education, training, research and development, etc. There are evidences of successful diasporic knowledge transfer in areas such as IT and Healthcare. For instance, the success of Bangalore IT boom and corporate healthcare may be attributed to the contribution of the high skilled Indian diaspora in the US.

The multidirectional engagement between diaspora and homeland is more intensive with the help of virtual platforms. There are multiple dynamics involved in shaping the contour of the diaspora and engaging them with region, nations and transnational spheres.

Conflicts and engagement in the development are simultaneous with many diasporas. However, there is a need to engage positively with all dynamics rather than ignoring the force that is so important in the globalised world.

Skills and Knowledge

Globalisation altered the economic activities in a great manner. The development of service economy and ICT has created demand for new skills and knowledge. Many developing countries suffered the initial brain drain due to the lack of absorption capacity of their skilled human resource and subsequent backwardness in the new economy. However, the scenario has been changing over time due to the globalised and mobile workforce that brought back not just financial capital but also human capital in terms of skills and knowledge.

This conference will delve into the knowledge and skill development aspect of the diaspora that remains one of the major policy thrust area in many developing countries and also how their potential can be harnessed for the development of the homeland.

Cultural Development

Cultural development is an umbrella term that relates to wide array of human activities. An active diaspora has a strong attachment with the homeland. The cultural bond with the homeland constitutes a very strong form of belonging for the diasporic communities.The conference will discuss in greater details such cultural aspects, namely, Films, literature and religion etc. so as to provide a more coherent picture of diaspora and its interrelated dynamics. 

Though the core areas remain Skill, Knowledge and Cultural development, the conference is open to papers that may not directly fall into the area but provide insight into the broader aspects of diaspora and development dynamics.


About the Conference

The conference will bring together scholars from diverse fields such as academic, civil society and policy from different countries. The conference intends to provide comparative perspectives in diaspora engagement. The papers will be published in a book by an international publisher.

The conference will have more wider reach and try to represent as many countries possible so that both macro and micro perspectives and diversities of issues will be covered. There are several countries actively engaged in policies and working on a new paradigm of global engagement to tap resources in the globalised world ever increasing human mobility.The conference is conceived to address these issues, both conceptual as well as applied areas so as to give a wholistic approach to understand the issue.

The following are the Themes and Sub themes for the Conference. However, all the related issues are also welcome.

Themes and Subthemes

1. Diaspora and Transnationalism

·         Concepts of Migration and Diaspora (Critical appraisal of place of birth, duration)

·         Transnationalism and Globalisation

  • Soft power diplomacy
  • foreign policy: lobbying with the host state governments
  • Dual Identity
  • Voting right of Diaspora
  • Distinguishing motivation towards homeland between First, Second and Third Generation Diaspora
  • Making of Refugee, Asylum and Exile

2. Diaspora Policies

·         Diaspora Engagement Policies: Legal, political, economic and socio-cultural

·         Diaspora policy practiced across the world: Legal aspects, socio economic benefits for the diaspora

·         Dual citizenship, voting rights to emigrants: Legal incorporation of the diaspora

·         Overseas Indian Citizenship practiced by the Indian State

·         Emigration policy for the lesser skilled temporary migrant workers: Emigration Laws around the world

·         Addressing grievances of the diaspora: A critical appraisal of the state's role

·         issues confronted by the Indian diaspora in Malaysia, Gulf states

·         Politics of Migration and Policies on Diaspora with implications for Foreign and National Security

·         Impact of Politics on Emigration and Immigration (WTO, Bhumiputra in Malaysia, Racism, Citizenship issue in Gulf, Visa policy of selective,  USA/Developed countries,

·         Diaspora and Soft power diplomacy (cultural diplomacy)

·         Impacts of Diaspora on Foreign Policies

3. Diaspora and Development

·         Investment

·         Immigration, Knowledge Economy and policies towards high skilled labour

·         International Trade

·         Return Migration

·         Technology Transfer

·         Mobility: Indo-Euorope Migration Corridor

·         Skill Migration

·         Brain Drain, Brain Gain, Brain Chain and Brain Bank

·         Migration of Health Care and IT Professionals

·         Changes in VISA regime- H1B1 of USA to Blue Card of Germany

·         India-Europe Migration of Students and Skilled Professionals


4. Diaspora and Conflict

·         Nursing at the war zone

·         Disguised Returnees

·         South Asian Labour Hostages

·         Making of Refugees and Asylees

·         Crisis of Rights, Challenges, and Advocacy

5. Diaspora and Civil Society

·         Diaspora organisations and their role

·         Marriages, Custody, Adoption, Property, Hague Conventions

·         Human Trafficking

·         Diaspora Philanthropy

·         Rehabilitation, Social Security.

6. Diaspora and Global Culture

·         Diaspora in the global cultural revolution- multiculturalism and Diaspora

·         Indian Diaspora: Film, Literature, Language, Food

·         Films and Diaspora

·         Literature

·         Religion

·         Media

·         Diaspora and Global Culture: Film, literature, food and religion 

7. Diaspora and Gender Relations

  • Female Domestic Workers
  • Migration for Dowry
  • Gender and Migration
  • Education of Children at the Host Land
  • Role of women after family migration

8. Diaspora, Religion and Ethnicity

·       Religious Practices at the Hostland; Hinduism in Middle East and South-East Asia

·       Ethnic Enclaves

·       Ethnic Markets and Enterprises

·       Religious practices and rights to celebrate

·       Forceful conversion of Diaspora

9. Diaspora and Remittances

·       Economic impact of remittances at the homeland

·       Socio-cultural development of left behind families with remittances

·       Social remittances and knowledge transfer

·       Cultural Remittances- Impact at the homeland

·       Impact of remittances at different levels; Individual, Family, Community and National.

10. Technology and Diaspora

Technology Transfer and Exchange

Migration and Technology

Technolgy, virtuality and new mobilisation identity

Technology and Diaspora culture

Technology and education and skill development



11. New Dynamics of Diaspora Engagement

·         Virtual Diasporas and Knowledge Platforms

·         Indian Diaspora, Virtual platform and development

·         Diaspora investment and Entrepreneurship



The conference will provide a knowledge platform for scholars working in policy and academic domain to share ideas, comparative perspectives on diaspora and international migration. A large array of stakeholders at national and international level will benefits from the conference and publications thereafter. The following stakeholders will directly benefit from the conference:

Government Ministries: Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Culture

Agencies/Departments: Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Reserve Bank of India,

Development Organisations working in the diaspora areas

Corporate Sectors: Working in the area of music, films, investment, knowledge transfer, human resource training, education sector



Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism, New Delhi



The conference intends to provide fresh perspectives and better understanding of the migration and diasporic issues that will provide input for academic scholarships as well as for effective policy. Conference papers will be published by a reputed international publisher. However the papers will be finalised only after the peer reviewed process.


Important Dates

Last date for receiving abstract

30 June 2016

Communicating about selection

20 July 2016

Last date for receiving full paper

30 October 2016

Date of Conference

26-27 November 2016



Dr. M. Mahalingam and Dr. Rajneesh Gupta

Conference Team

Dr. Rajneesh Gupta

Ravinder Singh Parihar

Dr. Chitra Natarajan

Rakesh Ranjan

Diksha Jha

Amardeep Kumar

Rahul Bailey

Monika Bisht

Dr. Kshipra Uke

Rajiv Mishra

Dr. Divya Balan

Vinod Choudhury

Jeetendra D. Soni

Dr. Muneer Illath


International Advisory Team

Prof. Ravindra K. Jain, Former Professor of Social Anthropology, CSSS, JNU

Prof. Margaret Walton-Roberts, Associate Dean, School of International Policy and Governance

Dr. Ned Bertz, Assistant Professor of History, University of Hawaii

Dr.Nayeem Sultana, Associate Professor, Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dr.Nandini C. Sen, Associate Professor. Cluster Innovation Centre, University of Delhi, New Delhi

Dr. Evans Stephen Osabuohien, Dept. of Economics and Development Studies, Covenant University, Nigeria

Prof. Vinesh Hookoomsing, University of Mauritius, Mauritius

Prof. Vivek Kumar, CSSS, JNU, New Delhi

Dr. Anjali Sahay, Associate Professor, International Relations and Political Science at Gannon University, Pennsylvania, USA

Prof.GuofuLIU,School of Law, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing

Dr. Kumar Mahabir, The University of Trinidad and Tobago, Corinth Teachers College, UTT

Dr.Els van Dongen, Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Dr. G. Srinivas, CSSS, JNU, New Delhi

Dr.SadanandaSahoo, SOITS, IGNOU




Participant's Contribution

(A token amount to be collected from participants to cover the cost of conference kits and food during the conference).

Postgraduate Students and Research Scholars

INR 2000/- (US $ 30 only for registration

Other Scholars

INR 2500/- (US $ 40) only for registration

* We are trying our best to mobilise sponsorship to cover the cost of travel and accommodation of the delegates as much as possible. However, we cannot assure anyone at this point about it. The candidates whoever wish to avail free registration and accommodate may kindly communicate to the organisers separately.

Guidelines for Abstracts

  • All participants are required to submit a written abstract about 250-300 words in .doc/x formats.
  • Format: 1 inch margin, 1.5 line spacing, Times New Roman, 12 font
  • The document must contain;  a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) Abstract  e) up to 10 keywords.

All abstracts will be peer reviewed and selected papers will be invited for final paper presentation. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you please send an query

Venue: New Delhi

Abstracts or requests for further information should be sent to: [email protected]

Time and Place:

Date:   Saturday, Nov 26, 2016
Venue:   New Delhi, India
Address:   Organised by Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism, New Delhi
City/Twon:   New Delhi
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