Remittances and the Imagination of Connectedness
The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination will host a workshop, "Remittances and the Imagination of Connectedness," on Saturday, February 29, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. in 399 Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building. The workshop is organized by Barbara Buckinx, Associate Research Scholar and director of LISD's Project on Self-Determination and Emerging Issues, and John Borneman, director of the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society. The workshop is co-sponsored by LISD, the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society, and the Center for Migration and Development. To attend, RSVP to Kristen Cuzzo.
The workshop will explore the meaning of remittances and their value for individuals and societies with particular attention to their impact on transnational actors, the meaning of national economies, and human security. Unlike foreign aid or foreign direct investment, remittances are initiated by individuals, usually using technology that bypasses the traditional banking system, and the economic, social, and cultural impact of this exchange across borders is profound. Significant inflows of remittances may be used by recipients to enhance vital freedoms and effect political change, reinvigorating recipient societies by giving them the resources to determine their own destiny, but potentially also destabilizing them when the interests of the citizens in the diaspora conflict with those of the citizens who remain. In addition, remittances also affect the ‘sending’ societies: they potentially weaken the ties of migrants to the host society and, if outflows are large enough, may also represent a loss for the economy. Remittances thus highlight a striking feature about cross-border migration: individuals moving across state borders in sufficient numbers can, through individual (not coordinated) behavior, profoundly affect lives and societies on both sides of that border.