Books: Engineers Abroad

Devesh Kapur, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy: The Domestic Impact of International Migration from India, Princeton: NJ, Princeton University Press, 2010

” What happens to a country when its skilled workers emigrate? The first book to examine the complex economic, social, and political effects of emigration on India, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy provides a conceptual framework for understanding the repercussions of international migration on migrants’ home countries.

Devesh Kapur finds that migration has influenced India far beyond a simplistic “brain drain”–migration’s impact greatly depends on who leaves and why. The book offers new methods and empirical evidence for measuring these traits and shows how data about these characteristics link to specific outcomes. For instance, the positive selection of Indian migrants through education has strengthened India’s democracy by creating a political space for previously excluded social groups. Because older Indian elites have an exit option, they are less likely to resist the loss of political power at home. Education and training abroad has played an important role in facilitating the flow of expertise to India, integrating the country into the world economy, positively shaping how India is perceived, and changing traditional conceptions of citizenship. The book highlights a paradox–while international migration is a cause and consequence of globalization, its effects on countries of origin depend largely on factors internal to those countries.

A rich portrait of the Indian migrant community, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy explores the complex political and economic consequences of migration for the countries migrants leave behind.”

Devesh Kapur is associate professor of political science and holds the Madan Lal Sobti Professorship for the Study of Contemporary India at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Xiang Biao, Global “Body Shopping”: An Indian Labor System in the Information Technology Industry, Princeton: NJPrinceton University Press, 2006

“How can America’s information technology (IT) industry predict serious labor shortages while at the same time laying off tens of thousands of employees annually? The answer is the industry’s flexible labor management system–a flexibility widely regarded as the modus operandi of global capitalism today. Global “Body Shopping” explores how flexibility and uncertainty in the IT labor market are constructed and sustained through concrete human actions.

Drawing on in-depth field research in southern India and in Australia, and folding an ethnography into a political economy examination, Xiang Biao offers a richly detailed analysis of the India-based global labor management practice known as “body shopping.” In this practice, a group of consultants–body shops–in different countries works together to recruit IT workers. Body shops then farm out workers to clients as project-based labor; and upon a project’s completion they either place the workers with a different client or “bench” them to await the next placement. Thus, labor is managed globally to serve volatile capital movement.

Underpinning this practice are unequal socioeconomic relations on multiple levels. While wealth in the New Economy is created in an increasingly abstract manner, everyday realities–stock markets in New York, benched IT workers in Sydney, dowries in Hyderabad, and women and children in Indian villages–sustain this flexibility.”

 

Binod Khadria, The Migration of Knowledge Workers. Second-Generation Effects of India’s Brain Drain, New Delhi, Sage Publications, 1999

“This book encourages strategies for turning the “brain drain” of educated professionals to India’s advantage.

Binod Khadria argues that “first generation” losses of human resources from India can be compensated by making use of the finance, technology and manpower of Indian expatriates. In this way, the long-term average productivity of workers at home can be raised helping make good gross domestic product losses — the “second generation” effects of brain drain.”

 

 

 

 

 See Also:

Binod Khadria, Migration of Highly Skilled Indians: Case Studies of IT and Health Professionals. STI Working Papers 6, April. Paris, OECD, 2004. Available here

Roli Varma, Harbingers of Global Change. India’s Techno-Immigrants, Maryland, Lexington Books, 2006


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