Sustainability (2018-12-01)

Development at the Crossroads of Capital Flows and Migration: Leaving No One Behind?

  • Annelies (E.B.) Zoomers

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10, no. 12
p. 4807


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The aim of this special issue is to push forward the frontier of development studies by analysing local livelihoods from a ‘flows of capital/people’ perspective. In development studies, and especially in livelihood research, local development has long been defined in terms of local people’s agency and the importance of capitals and capabilities. Over the last decade, however, the context of local development has undergone considerable change. Globalisation, in alternation with deglobalisation, has given rise to new and intensified flows and circulations: the total volume and the diversity of capital flows and flows of people have rapidly increased, often going hand in hand with flows of goods, knowledge and ideas. Rather than looking at local development in terms of local people having access to and control of local resources, we acknowledge the importance networked space and positionality. Local development opportunities are very much determined by translocal linkages—what is happening in other places, sometimes directly, as a result of flows of capital, goods, people and information. The various articles in this special issue contribute to a better understanding of the link between large-scale flows of capital/people and local development, focusing on questions such as: what kinds of mobilities are taking place and in which directions? What are the new geographies of development, and what are the consequences of the inflows and outflows of capital/people (including goods and ideas) for local development and achieving the various sustainable development goals? In analysing the link between different types of capital/people flows and inclusive development, each article in this special issue focuses on a particular type of flow of capital/people and its multiple impacts in terms of local livelihood development. Case studies focus on Sub-Sahara Africa (Ghana, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Senegal, Rwanda); Asia (Vietnam, Indonesia, India) and Latin America.