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Diaspora Diplomacy:

A Gateway to Influence, Power, and Reputation

By Dr Martin Russell and Loksan Harley

Diaspora diplomacy is the participation of transnational communities and individuals in systems of global governance and international relations, viewing diasporas as increasingly deterministic actors in the diplomatic landscape.


This article, a collaboration between Homelands Advisory and Global Diaspora Insights, contends that diaspora diplomacy is one such area of new thinking and agency for global cohesion Diaspora diplomacy has been earmarked as “an emerging and increasingly important dimension of international and transnational relations.”

If you have any questions regarding diaspora diplomacy and diaspora engagement strategies, please feel free to contact Martin Russell or Loksan Harley - see below. 


About the authors

Wednesday, 8 May 2024 

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Martin Russell is the founder of Global Diaspora Insights which provides advisory, research, policy, and training services on diaspora engagement for a range of clients across the public sector, private sector, and third sector. He serves as an advisor at The Networking Institute, sits on the Advisory Board of Ireland Reaching Out, and is a member of the Transition Assistance Practice Group at the Institute for Integrated Transitions.

Martin has collaborated on diaspora engagement in over 50 countries. He has a varied publication record across the academic, operational, and policy landscapes including several diaspora policies and strategies. His most recent publication was Diaspora Philanthropy: Unlocking New Portals for Diplomacy and Development in the first edition of the Routledge International Handbook of Diaspora Diplomacy.


In 2022, he also participated on the core planning team to deliver the first-ever Global Diaspora Summit co-hosted by the Government of Ireland and the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations migration agency. Martin completed his PhD, Diaspora Strategies and Conflict Transformation, at the UCD Clinton Institute where his research focused on the role of the Irish diaspora in the Northern Ireland Peace Process in the areas of diaspora media, diaspora philanthropy, and diaspora politics.

Contact: martin(at)

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Loksan Harley is a Migration and Diaspora Specialist and Executive Director of Homelands Advisory, with extensive experience as a consultant to the United Nations, governments, and non-profits.


Loksan has conducted research and advised governments on diaspora engagement in 30+ countries across Africa, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Loksan is also the founder and host of the Migration and Diaspora Podcast, a fast-growing podcast about all things migration and diaspora. He serves on the Executive Leadership Council of the African Diaspora Network, a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit committed to engaging the African diaspora.


Loksan holds a BA in economics from McGill University and an MSc in public policy and management from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he has also lectured on migration policy.

Contact: loksan(at)

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