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The State and the Grassroots: Immigrant Transnational Organizations in Four Continents

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The State and the Grassroots

Immigrant Transnational Organizations in Four Continents

Edited by Alejandro Portes and Patricia Fernández-Kelly

352 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-734-3 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (July 2015)

ISBN  978-1-78533-440-5 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (September 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78238-735-0 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“…an insightful volume that makes a significant contribution to the scholarly field on transnationalism with a particular reference to the migration-development-integration nexus. I would recommend this volume to anyone interested in organisational transnationalism, homeland development and integration.” · Nordic Journal of Migration Research

The State and the Grassroots makes an important contribution. It will be of interest to all scholars and students with of all levels concerned with international migration. Select chapters would be appropriate for undergraduate course adoption.” · Contemporary Sociology

“This impressive book… offers a very easy introduction and overview of the topic. It is, therefore, recommended not only to specialists with prior knowledge but to all interested in the topic. What makes this book special is the presentation and inclusion of the first completed, comprehensive studies of various migration groups in the US… [It] provides exhaustive documentation of how transnational immigrant organizations emerge and interact with home and host countries, presenting immigrants as vital agents of development. There is no doubt that [this volume) should be purchased by all university libraries and that it can enlighten readers in a domain in urgent need of attention.” · European Planning Studies

“This is an outstanding volume that offers a unique look at the role of immigrant organizations in the United States and Europe. By focusing on organizations of immigrants, it shows their central role in the transnational field and moves the migration-development debate to a new, much more sophisticated level.”  ·  Ariel Armony, University of Miami


Whereas most of the literature on migration focuses on individuals and their families, this book studies the organizations created by immigrants to protect themselves in their receiving states. Comparing eighteen of these grassroots organizations formed across the world, from India to Colombia to Vietnam to the Congo, researchers from the United States, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Spain focus their studies on the internal structure and activities of these organizations as they relate to developmental initiatives. The book outlines the principal positions in the migration and development debate and discusses the concept of transnationalism as a means of resolving these controversies.

Alejandro Portes is Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology (Emeritus) at Princeton University, Founding Director of Princeton's Center for Migration and Development, and Research Professor at the University of Miami. His most recent book is Immigrant America, IV Edition (with Rubén G. Rumbaut, University of California Press 2014).

Patricia Fernández-Kelly is Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Research Associate of the Office for Population Research at Princeton University. Her most recent book is The Hero’s Fight: African Americans in West Baltimore and the Shadow of the State (Princeton University Press 2015).

Subject: Refugee and Migration Studies


List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Section I: Immigrant Organizations in a Comparative Perspective

Introduction: Immigration, Transnationalism, and Development: The State of the Question
Alejandro Portes

Section II: Immigrant Organizations in the United States

Chapter 1. Traversing Ancestral and New Homelands: Chinese Immigrant-Transnational Organizations in the United States
Min Zhou and Rennie Lee

Chapter 2. Transnational Philanthropy of Urban Migrants: Colombian and Dominican Immigrant Organizations and Development
Cristina Escobar

Chapter 3. Tapping the Indian Diaspora for Indian Development
Rina Agarwala

Chapter 4. Partners in Organizing: Engagement between Migrants and the State in the Production of Mexican Hometown Associations
Natasha Iskander

Chapter 5. Navigating Uneven Development: The Dynamics of Fractured Transnationalism
Margarita Rodríguez

Chapter 6. Breaking Blocked Transnationalism: Intergenerational Change in Homeland Ties
Jennifer Huynh and Jessica Yiu

Section III: Immigrant Organizations in Europe

Chapter 7. Moroccan and Congolese Migrant Organizations in Belgium
Marie Godin, Barbara Herman, Andrea Rea, and Rebecca Thys

Chapter 8. Moroccans in France: Their Organizations and Activities Back Home
Thomas Lacroix and Antoine Dumont

Chapter 9. Transnational Activities of Immigrants in the Netherlands: Do Ghanaian, Moroccan, and Surinamese Diaspora Organizations Enhance Development?
Gery Nijenhuis and Annelies Zoomers

Chapter 10. Transnational Immigrant Organizations in Spain: Their Role in Development and Integration
Héctor Cebolla Boado and Ana López-Sala

Conclusion: Assimilation through Transnationalism: A Theoretical Synthesis
Patricia Fernández-Kelly

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