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Axel Malecki

Doctor of Philosophy, (Development Studies)
Study Completed: 2017
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Repoliticising Development: The Diaspora Knowledge Network (DKN) ChileGlobal and its contribution to development in Chile

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Migrant organisations, such as Diaspora Knowledge Networks (DKNs), are increasingly framed as development actors with the potential to contribute to economic development through knowledge and expertise transfer. Supported by aid agencies, the formation of DKNs such as ChileGlobal is often represented as a mitigation tool to remedy the effects of emigration of highly skilled personnel, particularly in the context of the global South. Drawing on multi-sited fieldwork conducted in Chile, the UK, Germany, and online, Mr Malecki's research has revealed the ambivalent side-effects of diaspora initiatives. The results of his research are important in two ways. Firstly, set up as economic actors, DKNs engender complex relationships between state institutions and expatriate communities that may transform DKNs into political actors and produce new spaces of political contestation. Secondly, the extent to which expatriate knowledge and expertise can be transnationally transferred, is often mediated by distinctive place-specific factors, such as socio-cultural norms.

Dr Maria Borovnik
Associate Professor Matthew Henry