In international development discourse, migration has been increasingly conceived as a tool to stimulate homeland development and diasporas have emerged as potential agents of change. In this chapter, I provide an overview of scholarly discussions about return migration, entrepreneurship and development. This growing and diverse area of interest attracts researchers from various disciplines and with a focus on different geographic areas of the globe. To make sense of this variety, I distinguish between two main approaches. The first follows a state-centred perspective and frames return migration and entrepreneurship from above; the second follows a migrant-centred perspective and frames return migration and entrepreneurship from below. I illustrate how these framings are rooted in different understandings of development and its outcomes. I show that a top-down approach, which is often the basis of state-led policies and programmes, emphasises the economic gains brought by migrant business investments back home. Bottom-up approaches, instead, depart from the experiences and practices of the migrants themselves, and show a more multi-faceted side to development, conceived beyond economic gains and incorporating broader social, cultural and political change. I conclude that, between these two approaches, scholars should pursue the middle ground to exploit the explanatory power of both macro and micro approaches and achieve a better understanding of the complex linkages between return, entrepreneurship and development.
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Return Migration|
|Editors||Russell King, Katie Kuschminder|
|Place of Publication||Cheltenham|
|Number of pages||13|
|ISBN (Print)||978 1 83910 004 8|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - Jan 2022|
- return migration