Since the late 1960s, Eritreans in the urban United States have been active participants in ongoing discursive efforts to define the Eritrean nation. They have also contributed extensively to the political-economic viability of the emergent state. At the same time, the Eritrean nation-state has long reached out to its diaspora communities via the civic organizations, kin networks, and nationalist commitments that link Eritreans abroad to those at “home." This research draws together current critical approaches to transnationalism, nationalism, and civil society to examine how Eritreans in diaspora may contribute to "transnational civil society" in the Eritrean nation-state. Through detailed ethnographic and historical study in both the US and Eritrea, it examines the bi-directional flows connecting the two locations and assesses the impacts and consequences of these on different levels of Eritrean society, as well as on the diaspora community itself.