Journal article

Scientific diasporas, transnationalism and home-country development: evidence from a study of skilled Moldovans abroad

This paper discusses the Moldovan ‘scientific diaspora’ made up of students, researchers and those engaged in professional activities abroad, and their propensity to either return or engage in home-country development initiatives. Moldova has suffered a significant loss of its qualified personnel since 1991, due to a difficult political transition and current low level of development. An online survey, supplemented by follow-up interviews, enabled the authors to outline the parameters of the Moldovan scientific diaspora and its current and potential future transnational activities. Although skilled Moldovans do feel positive about their study and work experiences abroad, they are also keen to help in the development of their home country. However, several determinants are necessary to make this happen: information about institutional initiatives, political stability, improved socio-economic prospects and an adequate infrastructure, a shared vision of the diaspora role, as well as specific instruments for engagement. Policy options are discussed in the conclusion.

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