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

McDowell, C. A., Aronica, V., Collantes-Celador, G. & De Silva, N. (2018). Thematic Report Two - The Engagement of Refugees in Transnational Politics: Lessons from the Migration, Diaspora and Refugee Studies Literature. Lancaster: Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST).


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, that cumulatively build a comprehensive picture of the state of knowledge on political action among diaspora and refugee populations. 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 is exploring 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. The current paper – 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.

Publication Type: Report
Additional Information: © 2018 CREST Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC-SA license.
Publisher Keywords: Forced Migration; Asylum; Migration; Diaspora; Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > International Politics
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike.

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