This is the last of three Thematic Reports published as part of a CREST-funded project carried out by a team of researchers at City, University of London, and Cranfield University at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.
With the objective of better understanding Tamil diaspora communities’ attitudes and engagement in the Sri Lankan civil conflict (1983-2009) and its aftermath, the CREST project; ‘From the Diasporisation to the Transnationalisation of Exile Politics – The Case of Sri Lanka, 1983-2016’ explores diaspora and refugee communities’ relationship with the changing socio-political environment in the homeland, exploring what shapes and influences processes of radicalisation or moderation among these communities.
The three thematic reports produced as part of this project cumulatively build a comprehensive picture of the state of knowledge on political action among diaspora, refugee and asylum populations.
This third Thematic Report critically reviews the current academic state of knowledge on refugee movements and the security threat nexus. Drawing on the two previous Thematic Reports in this series it seeks to better understand why forced displacement, onward migration and refugee settlement in countries of asylum is increasingly linked to the threat of political extremism and terrorism.
It builds on the discussion in Thematic Report Two on the nature of refugee politics and what shapes individual’s political commitments to conflict at ‘home’ and what factors shape forms of political engagement internationally. It extends this discussion by considering the pathways through which engagement in diaspora politics could take an extreme form, including support for the use of violence.
Through an examination of the literature on critical security studies, and in particular ‘securitisation’, the Thematic Report traces the process by which ‘the refugee’ is constructed as a threat, how that threat is understood by the state and by society more broadly, and how the evolution, dissemination and consumption of the ‘threat’ comes to inform policy-makers and the policy-making process.
Finally, this third Report reviews the radicalisation literature in relation to the known experiences of refugees throughout the forced displacement cycle as they seek to move from a place of danger to a place of safety.
It is shown that at various points on the cycle individuals confront situations that open doors to those who would seek to recruit and radicalise them, who may be drawn to extremist narratives, or who become dependent upon those who have the resources to provide routes out of danger.
You can find the other thematic reports from this CREST project here.
Thematic Report One | Understanding Transnational Diaspora Politics: A Conceptual Discussion explores the theoretical and conceptual basis underpinning academic debates on engagement in the politics of conflict and post-conflict by communities living overseas.
Thematic Report Two | The Engagement of Refugees in Transnational Politics: Lessons from the Migration, Diaspora and Refugee Studies Literature complements the previous report’s broad conceptual discussion by specifically focusing on an analysis of the context and drivers of political action among diaspora and refugee populations, and engaging with the term ‘refugee politics’.
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