The Engagement of Refugees in Transnational Politics: Lessons from the Migration, Diaspora and Refugee Studies Literature

thematic report two diaspora

This is the second of three CREST-funded Thematic Reports published by a team of researchers at City, University of London, and Cranfield University at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom examining political action among diaspora populations.

18-035-01 Thematic Report Two (Small)
Click here to download this report.

The research team is specifically interested in applying the theoretically-informed, literature and evidence grounded conclusions arising from these reports to understand the attitudes towards and involvement in the Sri Lankan civil conflict (1983-2009) and its aftermath by Tamil diaspora communities, but with a broader application.

The CREST project; ‘From the Diasporisation to the Transnationalisation of Exile Politics – The Case of Sri Lanka, 1983-2016’ explored diaspora and refugee communities’ relationship with the changing socio-political environment in the homeland and how this influences processes of radicalisation or moderation.

It recognises that the socio-political circumstances in which these processes develop are often crucial to understanding why a community or individuals within that community abroad act in a certain way; this includes analysis of different scales and levels of engagement, both in home countries and in host countries, as well as different ‘areas’ of engagement, which can include social, economic and political interactions.

Thematic Report One discussed how four analytical concepts, diaspora, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, and translocalism, have come to frame the academic discussion of overseas politics and the potential of the concepts to shed light on the relationship between mobility and political action.

This report, Thematic Report Two, 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’.

It considers if the available diaspora and migration literature sheds light on whether the processes and dynamics of forced migration are likely to generate identifiable forms of political engagement.

Research Team: Christopher McDowell, Valentina Aronica, Gemma Collantes-Celador, and Natasha De Silva. You can also read more about the project here.

Read, download and share The Engagement of Refugees in Transnational Politics: Lessons from the Migration, Diaspora and Refugee Studies Literaturen, for free here: 18-035 Thematic Report Two

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 Three | Asylum, Security and Extremism analyses the growing ‘securitisation’ of refugees and other forcibly displaced populations and calls for greater consideration of structural vulnerabilities in the forced migration and displacement cycle that increase the risk of radicalisation, extremism and related political behaviours.

As part of CREST’s commitment to open access research this guide is available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence. For more details on how you can use our content see here.