Refugee communities in the “diaspora” are increasingly organizing themselves through transnational, collective action. The terms “global governance” and “transnational governance” have been used interchangeably in the contemporary discourse of governance. Central to notions of governance are global financial institutions and their complex and commanding relationship with “nation-states”. Nation-states remain the fundamental units of global/transnational governance although the degree and intensity of their sovereignty is being systematically compromised. The forms of transnational governance that are formulated, debated and practiced are from “above”. However, this paper addresses another form of transnational governance that is from “below”: the practices of various forms of transnational governance by refugee communities, and diasporas.
This paper seeks to theorize transnational governance from below with specific reference to two case studies – the Tamil and South Sudanese diasporas.