This paper addresses several of these analytical shortcomings and the existing gaps in the literature through the study of hometown associations (HTAs). It also approaches the idea of development from a critical, political economy perspective that places attention on how these organizations help transform state-society relations, governance dynamics, and institutions and policies at varying spatial scales.
People, money, commodities, ideas, norms and institutions, amongst other flows, move through HTAs structures and across the domains of interaction where they operate. Examined altogether, these elements are the building blocks of distinct development logics—ways of defining and carrying out development—that are assembled and circulated through transnational social fields that link places, people and institutions across borders. As HTAs become involved in transnational community development projects, they establish linkages and dialogues with state and other actors that may end up transforming relationships between the state and society, and promoting different approaches to local development.
The data presented relies mostly on a case study approach where a series of semi structured interviews and ethnographic observations were conducted in the Peravia Province—a southern, semi-arid, agricultural region of the Dominican Republic―and in important Dominican migrant destinations in the United States, such as New York City and Boston, Massachusetts.
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