In an increasingly globalised world, processes of development and social transformation are being shaped in new and important ways by transnational flows of capital, goods, ideas and people. The Open University’s international development research has a long-standing engagement with these flows, the relations they bring into being, and the social, economic, political and cultural impacts they have. OU academics working in this area have a wide range of expertise, including on the development role of migrants and diaspora groups, everyday intercultural interaction, and the implications of migration for gender and care-roles. Building on our work on increased Chinese migration to Africa and the return migration of Indian scientists, we are increasingly interested in research on ‘South–South’ and ‘North–South’ migration and how these expanding flows might present novel development opportunities, particularly when coupled to the emergence of ‘new’ middle classes in the Global South.
We have a growing number of research students working the field of migration, transnationalism and development, including on the relationship of the Chilean diaspora to homeland politics, the gender implications of Sudanese migration, and the politics and impacts of international volunteering.