Varun Soni, USC Dean of Religious Life, on LA's massive diaspora as an incubator of global religion and a driving force for the city's growing relevance on the world stage.
While there are still only a few formal state-to-state linkages between Australia and India, there is clearly an increasing trend favoring subnational diplomacy. This is perhaps unsurprising, especially given the presence of a strong diaspora and student population in Australia with strong links to their Indian home states.
Several African countries have jumped on the brandwagon and included nation branding in their national development program. The Brand Africa initiative, intergenerational movement to create a positive image of Africa, celebrate its diversity and drive its competitiveness, was launched in 2010.
One of the Lebanese private sector’s strongest and most effective backers is the country’s vast diaspora, reckoned to be made up of anywhere between 4 million and 14 million people, pumping an estimated $7.5bn, 15 per cent of GNP, in remittances into the country each year.
In New Jersey, an eastern US state, the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) held its 9th regional conference that was attended by Nepalis from around the world. From a small community that was trying to establish its identity and get access to dual citizenship and the opportunities accompanying it, the NRNA has grown into a larger organisation with multiple issues to deal with.
In an age of networks and soft power, this represents a sizeable demographic, and a well-educated and well-off one to boot. The government has clearly recognized this. [...] two years ago the first Minister for the Diaspora was appointed, tasked with taking overall charge of engagement efforts: no longer simply cultural ambassadors operating Irish bars abroad, emigrants are economic and political seeds to be cultivated.
In an earlier post, I speculated that preventing a Zika virus epidemic would rally transnational diaspora organizations. Since then, concern has grown among U.S.- and Canadian-based diasporans, especially those with roots in Brazil, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and other Latin American countries. Caribbean American and global media are featuring stories and public service announcements on the outbreak, but so far, I have observed no major non-governmental diasporan response.