95 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2002
Diasporas play a central role in the international system, disseminating information, transmitting capital and transforming culture. Defying national borders, they challenge the basic conception of the nation-state system, yet international law has not begun to notice them. They challenge traditional views of citizenship, as well, yet they have escaped the attention of domestic public law scholars.
This paper begins to conceptualize diasporas as a topic of legal inquiry. Diasporas undermine both the traditional statist conception of a citizenry with a singular national loyalty and the cosmopolitan alternative that denies the moral salience of states in favor of a world citizenship. The paper proposes a third paradigm of the relationship of citizen to state, a diaspora model that embraces diasporas as emblematic of a globalized world where history matters yet does not constrict.
The paper applies its analytical framework to international bonds issued by governments to their diasporas. These "Diaspora Bonds" allow homeland governments to turn to their diasporas to raise capital for economic development.
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