Twenty years ago, national and international policy-makers rarely used the term ‘diaspora’. As emigrant groups gained visibility in political and popular cultural domains, the term was appropriated from its academic origins and used as a shorthand to describe emigrants’ potential contributions to postcolonial nation-building efforts (Dufoix 2011). Primarily referring to migrant identities as centred on a territorially defined nation-state of ‘origin’, there is an assumption that members of diasporas have an in-built motivation to assist their ‘homeland’ because of some primordial cultural or ethnic connection. This assumption underpins a range of policy prescriptions for the way that postcolonial states ought to conduct relations with their emigrants abroad, with the ‘tapping’ and ‘shaping’ of homeland diasporic belongings promoted as a key leveraging strategy (Gamlen 2014).