Our reconceptualization of state transnationalism underlines the active role that states can play in generating and sustaining cross‐border flows between a nation's homeland and its diasporic communities. This represents a sort of ‘middle ground’ between formerly hegemonic ‘state centric’ approaches to global processes (focusing heavily on the ‘international’) and more recent ones emphasizing ‘transnational’ dynamics (which primarily arise through the agency of cross‐border migrants). We discuss a typology of approaches and avoid the tendency to set nation‐states against global and transnational processes. In fact, we highlight the various ways in which states often initiate key transnational flows, such as migration and the integration of diasporic communities into the sending nation, as well as maintain and regulate various processes instigated by immigrants. As an iconic case, we present an illustrative study of the South Korean government and Korean diasporic communities in the USA. Finally, in a brief conclusion, we outline some challenges for future research.