During the last decade, African diasporas have emerged as agents of change in international development thinking. Diasporas are being courted by donors, sending states, and NGOs for their contributions to development in their countries of origin; praised for their remittances, investments and knowledge transfer. This Introduction seeks to scrutinise critically these processes, examining issues of governance and categorisation in relation to African states and diasporas. We explore the theoretical and political implications of the emergence of diasporas in relation to questions of hybridity, state responses, neoliberalism, depoliticisation, and mistrust. We thereby aim to establish an analytical framework that focuses on how various actors stage, govern, and seek to instrumentalise so-called diaspora involvement. Two central questions arise: Are we witnessing an anti-politics machine in the sense of making development a matter of how to involve diasporas and build their human and organisational capacities? Or are there means by which diasporas may re-politicise development issues in the home country?
African Studies, 2013, Vol 72, Issue 2, p. 265-284