Diasporas in Conflict | UNU Press | United Nations University
The analytical and conceptual framework -- Diasporas in international conflict / Hazel Smith -- A neglected relationship: diasporas and conflict resolution / Jacob . Case studies of diaspora as agents of conflict and peace from the Horn of. Africa; wishing to establish working relationships with diasporas specifically in these fields. The paper Neglected Relationship: Diasporas and. On the other hand, the otherwise rich literature on conflict tends to neglect the As far as empirical studies are concerned, the only exception has long been Collier and .. The relationship between the diaspora's contribution to conflict a∗ and.
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Diasporas in conflict : peace-makers or peace-wreckers?
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Moreover, these diasporas were invisible in their settlement countries, dealing with their survival and going through adaptation and integration process. It is relevant here to mention that displacement and forced migration from the disputed territories and conflict-affected regions have a distinct historical meaning in international migration.
Stateless diasporic communities Kurds, Tamils, Palestinians, Kashmiris and so onbeing different from labour migrants, experience a sense of loss, feelings of displacement, a strong ethnic identity and a solidarity with people in the homeland.
A crucial element of the stateless diaspora is the dream of a real or imaginary homeland. This is a key reason why many diasporas are involved in homeland politics. In comparison with previous generations, global communications—in particular, satellite TVs and the internet—have compressed time and space, connecting stateless diasporas in different political and geographical arenas.
In these spaces they can not only meet for the first time and create a sense of belonging, sharing experiences and exchanging ideas, but can also follow the mistreatment of their co-ethnic groups in their homeland.
Transmitted images of torture, lethal attacks against the subordinated co-ethnic groups and the desperation of people in the homeland connect the movers with the stayers and reduce the emotional, political and cultural distance. In this sense, the stateless diasporas remain loyal to a homeland where they no longer inhabit.
Members feel a moral obligation to engage in solidarity with co-ethnics suffering from oppression and a sense of guilt that they have abandoned their homeland for the West. These social norms play an important role in altruistically and politically inspired activities, whether becoming involved in homeland politics in the settlement country or joining national movements in the homeland.
As a product of war, displacement and migration, stateless diasporas have made the ethno-national conflict in their homeland and resolution of it a transnational political subject. The stateless diasporas have constructed diasporic spaces and communities in Europe, and elsewhere, via homeland-oriented organisations as well as transnational communications and transport technologies. This poses a considerable challenge to the nationalistic hegemony of the implicated states.
The engagement of the diaspora with homeland politics has played a crucial role in post-conflict reconstruction in many countries e. Iraq, Eritrea, Turkey, Sri Lanka, in organising petitions, fundraising, holding demonstrations, lobbying the settlement country government and connecting the cause and homeland organisations to international political structures.
Indeed, the diaspora in Europe and the US has been able to speak on behalf of the subordinated co-ethnic population in homelands where expression of ethnic identity, language and political position are denied in various degrees.
Therefore, their role in the international relationship should not be oversimplified. The study of international relations shows that diaspora communities have been receiving much more attention after the end of the Cold War. To some degree, the polarization and division of the world into two camps led to keep existing political structures and territorial unity of the existing nation states.
Having said this, it is relevant to mention that some ethno-national movements have also expressed themselves more in the form of the class and social movements in the 70s and 80s. In this context, the concept of the diaspora, particularly the political nature of the ethno-national movements in the homeland and in diaspora have been neglected in International Relation Studies until the end of the Cold War because ethno-national struggles and intra-state conflicts were seen as a territorial problem Bercovitch Moreover, the UN and other international organisations have not managed to include non-state entities into its system due to the domination of the nation states in these organisations.
Therefore, the conceptual engagement of IR with the study of diasporas is relatively new. The interest in the literature only began growing after the end of the Cold War. However, owing to the patterns of migration and the rapid development of communications and transport technologies in the age of globalization, ethnic, political, cultural, religious identities have become more diverse and visible in global level.
However, diasporas have been viewed very negative in many IR studies. These Diasporas, argues Kaldor Yet diasporic influence is not always constructive.
Diasporic activists may be a major source of violence and instability in their homeland. In particular, the stateless diasporas play a crucial role as political actors in international relations to challenge the oppressive regimes or countries.
Due to the development of communication and transport technologies, diaspora communities are interconnected to their homeland Keles and can easily interact between the homeland and the settlement country. They also operate as ethnic lobbies in liberal host countries countries of domicileand as advocates of a multicultural foreign policy Saideman ; Smith They campaign to democratize authoritarian homeland regimes. Diasporas can also play a crucial role in mediating conflicted actors in the homeland and they may have more objective perspective because they are far from the conflicted parties and have not suffered from the conflict and interested in the economic and political position in a stable country.
Therefore, they contribute the peace process, peaceful conflict resolution and transition, reconstruction and economic development in the homeland Horst ; Demmers Diasporas are also a force in the global economy assisting homelands' economies Gillespie, Sayre, and Riddle ; Keles and Syrett More generally, diasporas are increasingly able to promote transnational ties, to act as bridges or as mediators between their home and host societies, and to transmit the values of pluralism and democracy Keles such as the case of Kurdish diaspora from Kurdistan Iraq.
Yet despite increasing recognition of the importance of diasporas in international affairs, there are few attempts to incorporate this phenomenon into international relations IR theory.
Sheffer distinguishes between two types of diaspora in the context of international relations: Sheffer states that Stateless diasporas are significantly more likely to foment conflict. They often mobilize to collect money and help national struggle at home, and mount campaigns for the national self-determination and the recognition of their homeland as an independent state.
The Kurdish diaspora in Western countries supports the transnationalized Kurdistan Workers Party which has fought against the Turkish state for 30 years.
The Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in their support of the Tamil Tigers, the Eritrean diaspora struggle for independence Koserdiasporic fight for Khalistan The Sikh diasporas political mobilisation for a Sikh sovereign state are relevant cases of diasporic movements in global level Tatla Sheffer's original distinction suggested that state-linked diasporas are more likely to be engaged in benign activities. Including communal organization in the host countries, fundraising, sending remittances, investing in the home country, and engaging in the social and economic development of home villages and regions.
However, I think there is a shortcoming account of this concept. The state-linked diaspora can be mobilized for homeland politics too. My research on Turkish and Kurdish diaspora shows that their transnational networks, organisations and their activities form part of the ongoing hegemonic struggle between dominant Turkish notions of imagined community and the Kurdish national movement.
Moreover, Tololyan's work on the Armenian diaspora and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict shows how the "intra-state diaspora" in the post-Soviet region and the US Armenian diaspora were highly influential in determining the changing political stance of the Armenian and US governments. Moreover, Sheffer distinction does not provide us the diasporas who have a nation state which has forced its people to leave or people escaped from the political and economic instability or the repressive policies of their governments.
One of the relevant examples is Iranian diaspora Case studies Starting in the s the majority of Kurds fled from the disputed territory of Kurdistan Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria due to ethnic discrimination, prosecution, war and economic hardship Keles The war between the Turkish state and Kurdish national movement is no longer confined within the territory of Turkey. The armed conflict has started in Sincethe Kurdistan Workers Party PKK has operated across the borders of multiple nation-states, mobilising Kurdish refugees and second-generation Kurdish young people for homeland politics van Bruinessen The KPE was one of the most important transnational organizations in mediating diplomatically with different European politicians and EU states.
This caused great tension between Turkey and those European countries which had contacts with the Kurdish Parliament in Exile.
For instance, the announcement of the meeting of the Kurdish Parliament in Exile with the Basque Parliament and the Turkish uproar and diplomatic efforts to hinder the meeting, created a political crisis between the central Spanish and regional Basque governments.
This has created a huge anger, but also a strong transnational solidarity among the Kurds in the homeland and the Diaspora. Due to different online and offline campaigns, the Kurdish diaspora has contributed to pushing the US to bomb IS in Kobani. The nature of Tamil migration changed when the ethno-national conflict started in Most recently the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE in and unprecedented human right violations by the Sri-Lankan government have caused further displacement of Tamils who fled to neighbouring countries as well as the UK, Canada and Norway where a significant Tamil diaspora has existed over decades.
It should be notated that Canada has a large Tamil diaspora who are influential in the domestic politics of Canada. Other diasporas such as Sikh, Armenian, Eritrean, Irish, Jewish and Palestinian diasporas have become important diasporic actors in international relations.
While the Sikh diaspora have reproduced a conscious political and cultural identity, which forms a reference point for their 'Sikhism', the Armenian diaspora has lobbied many governments throughout the world to recognize the Armenian genocide, committed by the Ottoman Empire in Therefore the relationship between identity groups and nation-states is no longer confined within an established imagined community.
However we should note that other diasporas have not been successful in taking their cause to the international communities such as Kashmiri diaspora. One of the reasons for this is that they live in the periphery of the global political structures and powers and do not have a huge politicized diaspora in liberal Western countries where they can have access to the economic, social and political opportunities and influence homeland politics.
Conclusion There has been growing recognition of the importance of diasporas in international affairs in recent years. However, the role in diasporas in global politics has received less attention in International relations studies.
In this context, there is an urgent need to understand the diasporic involvement in conflict and peace and incorporate their political activism into international relations.
Diasporas in conflict : peace-makers or peace-wreckers? (eBook, ) [kinenbicounter.info]
Diasporas speak on behalf of the nation, even if the members of these imagined national communities live in different places, connecting people across different geographical spaces and thus building transnational imagined communities. They create a sense of belonging to a meaningful imagined community and play a crucial role in the ethno-national movements and can also play a constructive role to play in building sustainable peace in their conflicted homeland. However, these non-state actors are not integrated into the global politics.
It is crucial to include them into international community and organizations and give voice to them so they can contribute to democracy, multiculturalism, peaceful solution and economic growth in the conflicted regions.
His recent publications focus on migration, politicised ethnic entrepreneurship, digital social capital and religion and media including the book titled Media, Diaspora and Conflict: The author can be contacted at J.
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