Diaspora Knowledge Networks: Vanishing Doubts and Increasing Evidence

Jean-Baptiste Meyer and Jean-Paul Wattiaux

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Abstract

Diaspora knowledge networks (DKN) deeply changed the way highly skilled mobility used to be looked at. They conceptually subverted the traditional “brain drain” migration outflow into a “brain gain” of expatriates’ skills circulation by converting the loss of human resources into a remote though accessible asset of expanded networks. Doubts and scepticism recently arose due to the novelty of the DKN phenomenon and the lack of historical perspective to assess experience and results. The critiques essentially bear on two aspects: the consistency and the efficiency of the networks. As a new social object and research area, DKN indeed required new tools, methodology and concepts to explore theoretical as well as empirical issues. This paper addresses the critiques by displaying the research process surrounding DKN. Systematically searching through the internet has been a major part of the research exercise, especially during recent years. The evidence definitely proves the ongoing activities of numerous DKN. The consistency of such networks is thus confirmed. Their specific features and their members’ identification processes at work with new information and communication technologies are explained.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Meyer, Jean-Baptiste and Wattiaux, Jean-Paul. Diaspora Knowledge Networks: Vanishing Doubts and Increasing Evidence. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2006, vol.8, no.1, pp. 4-24. UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574. www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol8/issue1/art1

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