The Migration-Development Regime: How Class Shapes Indian Emigration, is a sweeping history of how India has used its poor and elite emigrants to further Indian development and how Indian emigrants have reacted, resisted, and re-shaped India’s development in response.
How can states and migrants themselves explain the causes and effects of global migration? The Migration-Development Regime introduces a novel analytical framework to help answer this question in India, the world’s largest emigrant exporter and the world’s largest remittance-receiving country. Drawing on an archival analysis of Indian government documents, an original data base of Indian migrants’ transnational organizations, and over 200 interviews with poor and elite Indian emigrants, recruiters, and government officials, this book exposes the vital role the Indian state (from the colonial era to the present day) has long played in forging and legitimizing class inequalities within India through the management of international emigration. It also exposes how poor and elite emigrants have differentially resisted and re-shaped state emigration practices over time.
By taking a long and class-based view, this book recasts contemporary migration not simply as a problematic function of neoliberalism or as a development panacea for sending countries, but as a dynamic historical process that sending states and migrants have long used to shape local development. In doing so, it re-defines the primary problems of global migration, exposes the material and ideological impact that migration has on sending state development, and isolates what is truly novel about contemporary migration.