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Diaspora Organizations and Science Two Worlds, One Mission A Dialogue on Migration and Conflict

Diaspora Organizations and Science Two Worlds, One Mission A Dialogue on Migration and Conflict. Today’s Program. 09.30-10.00: Welcome Stephan Kampelmann & Elise Féron (INFOCON) 10.00-11.00: Keynote speech Peter Hansen (Danish Institute for International Studies) & Ruerd Ruben (CIDIN)

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Diaspora Organizations and Science Two Worlds, One Mission A Dialogue on Migration and Conflict

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  1. DIIS ∙ DANSK INSTITUT FOR INTERNATIONALE STUDIER Diaspora Organizations and ScienceTwo Worlds, One MissionA Dialogue on Migration and Conflict

  2. Today’s Program 09.30-10.00: Welcome Stephan Kampelmann & Elise Féron (INFOCON) 10.00-11.00: Keynote speech Peter Hansen (Danish Institute for International Studies) & Ruerd Ruben (CIDIN) Transnational migration and development: the involvement of diaspora in post-conflict development processes 11.00-12.30: Transnational Communities in their host societies: Political Mobilization and Conflict Resolution Speaker: Nathalie Perrin, Université de Liège, CEDEM Discussant: Marusca Perazzi, Minority Rights Group International 12.30-14.00: Lunch 14.00-15.30: Transnational Communities and Conflict Policies Speaker: Hugh Miall, Kent University, CARC Discussant: Jochen Hippler, Universität Duisburg-Essen 15.30-17.00: Without Romance no Future? A debate on the integration of diaspora organizations in the development sector. Do diaspora organizations and development organizations want to work together?

  3. DIIS ∙ DANSK INSTITUT FOR INTERNATIONALE STUDIER Diasporas and Conflicts: Key Issues & Challenges(with illustrations from cases of Somalia and Great Lakes) Peter Hansen – Ruerd Ruben DIIS CIDIN

  4. Peter Hansen • PhD in anthropology • Fieldwork in: • Somaliland (1998, 1999, 2003, 2006) • Puntland & South-central Somalia (2005, 2006) • London/Copenhagen 2003 – 2010 • Tanzania/Zanzibar (2007); Oman & UAE (2010) • Employed at DIIS • African diasporas and their role vis-à-vis homelands • Associational/collective remittances and engagements

  5. Ruerd Ruben • PhD in development (micro) economics • Field/Research experience in: • Central America (Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba) -1980s • Sub-Sahara Africa (Mali, Kenya, Burkina, Ghana)- 1990s • Return Migration • Great Lakes region (by Marieke van Houte – INFOCON) • Rwanda (reconstruction/reconciliation gaming) – RM students • Employed at CIDIN • Impact of civic aid networks • Private supply chains (remittances, fair trade, etc)

  6. What is “a diaspora”? • Describes people living outside their homelands • Spread of the concept from Jewish experience • Self-descriptive – “we are a diaspora” • Process of identity; taking on a particular narrative • Not everyone calls themselves ‘a diaspora’ • Different from ‘transnational community’ • Flows of goods, people, images, loyalties, etc. • High on the policy agenda • Diasporas matter to politics, economy, development, conflicts/security, etc. in homelands • Being “a diaspora” gives access to funds, etc. (donor darling)

  7. Diasporas and Conflict? • 1. Economy • Remittances & Co-Investments • 2. Politics • Engagements in conflicts • Engagement in peace and state building • 3. Identity • Radicalization of identities in diaspora? • 4. Diaspora Associations • Institution building & networks

  8. Somalian Diaspora • Different ‘waves’ • 1880s : Employment • 1980s : Political refugees • 1988s : Exodus (from North Somalia) • 1991 : Independence • 1991 : Exodus (from South Somalia) • 1992 : First returns (from Africa) • 1997 : Diaspora returns

  9. 1991 - 1988 - Employment/education (from 1880) Employment 1997 – diaspora returns Yemen Political refugees 1980s Employment 1992 – returns Exodus 1988 1988 - 1991 - India, Malaysia Exodus 1991 - 1991 -

  10. Characteristics of diaspora(s) • Constantly looking for greener pastures • Large and significant • influence politics, economy, social life, culture, etc. • United • Religion; extended family; language; cultural identity • Divided / diverse • Clans; politicals; time spent abroad; years of arrival; class, etc. • Intense transnational activity • ‘Integration’ in host country and engagement with homeland are linked (not opposed) • Western citizenships, education, money and networks are drivers of transnational engagements (dual identities)

  11. Remittances and security • Primary economy • 150 million migrants • 300 billion USD remittances (in 1.5 billion transactions) • efficient, cheap (?), “lifeline” , complex hawala systems • Private Consumption & Investment • Much used for direct consumption (family survival) • Some investment in capital goods, self employment, social services, etc. • Collective remittances • Goods, equipment to schools, clinics, etc. (reconstruction) • Humanitarian assistance • Response to Disasters, Emergency assistance (Haiti), food, droughts, etc. • Increase when other capital flows decrease • Counter-cyclical !

  12. Remittances flows (regions) In billion US$

  13. Remittances flows (volumes)

  14. Remittances flows (% GDP) Hansen (2008): Diasporas and Fragile States Remittances flows to fragile and non-fragile countries are about the same: 15 % of GNI (but FDI to fragile countries is substantially lower!)

  15. Remittances and insecurity • Support for clans / militias • Remittances collected amongst diaspora community • Requests for help to local militia (when visiting homeland) • Support for local movements • Civil Society & Grassroots • NGOs • Increasing social differentiation? • Land/house disputes, Social conflicts, resentment etc. • Particular skills (ICT, business); economic advantages • Countered by (re)distribution of funds within extended family?

  16. Engagements in the conflict • Support to National Movements • Some formed in exile; relocated to homeland • Diasporic support to local parties • Accumulation of cultural capital in the West • The “Brain Gain” as part of the conflict (bargaining skills) • Impact on gender attitudes? • Contribution to violence? • Some returnees joining local resistance • But often not effective fighters

  17. Engaging in state building • Participation in Peace meetings • Mediating and countering the influence of local clans • Both at home and abroad • Establishment of the political system • Returnees as politicians (e.g. 30/82 MPs; 10/29 minister); party leaders (2 out of 3); ‘spin doctors’, party secretaries, etc. • Participation in a public sphere • Advocacy, e.g. African Forum; through Internet, etc. • Civil society activists; watchdogs vis-à-vis the government • Continuous support for the case • Demonstrations, lobbyism, etc. (abroad)

  18. Somaliland Diaspora in UK

  19. Radicalization – yes! • Context of radicalization: high risk • Marginalisation; social isolation; unemployment; stigma • Some cases of (Islamic) radicalization • Suicide-bombers and diaspora jihadists as exceptions • Radicalization of political identities • Returnees fighting against invasion (Ethiopia, US, EU) • After withdrawal less appeal to diasporic migrants • More ‘nationalism’ than ‘globalism’ • Essentialization of own identity • We are proud; we have a good culture • We have clans, we know who we are • Bulwark against stigma and racism

  20. Radicalization – no! • Migrants are pragmatics • Extremism is expensive • Survival Strategies based on mobility, flexibility, opportunism • Migrants are fairly liberal • Little appeal for radical interpretation of Islam • Return is rarely linked to religion • But to search for opportunities • Nostalgia, belonging, food, language, recognition, etc. • Often “democratic”, “civil” and “modern” • Value citizenship, elections, human rights, etc. • Less emphasis on traditional clans • Knowledge of the nation-state and citizenship survived in diaspora

  21. Diaspora Associations • Often reflect clan/regional divisions and loyalties • Mostly latent identities • Beware of particular (local) interests! • Most are not (only) focused on homelands • Integration, employment, rights, language, culture, etc. • Lack of knowledge, networks and funding • Conflicts of homeland may spill-over into the diaspora • Engagement is driven by many interests • Altruism, loyalty, patriotism, moral responsibility, etc. • Return, investments, livelihoods, recognition, masculinity, etc.

  22. Challenges • Diaspora often lack knowledge, effective networks, etc. • Diaspora can be romantic, naïve, idealistic and/or radical • Even more with second generation • Diaspora does not reach everyone • Migrant networks mostly tied to urban and middle/upper class • Scarcely reach the poor and rural/nomadic areas? • Policy implication: diaspora is not a magic bullet for development • What can we expect from the diaspora – what belongs to their responsibility?

  23. Opportunities • Participation in mediating conflicts of the homeland • Introduction of new values and ideas • Mostly through face-to-face interaction (e.g. during return visits) • Also in interpersonal relations • Wealth of associations and capacities • Except for cases of ‘poverty migration’ • Limited resentment between ‘locals’ and ‘diaspora’ • May broker between local and international realities

  24. Ways forward • Identify ‘relevant’ diaspora associations • Locate those that are capable and isolate those that are not or contribute to conflict • Building capacity of diaspora associations • Human, financial and institutional capacity building • E.g. ‘3 for 1 programs’ (buddies) • Improve coordination and prevent copycats • Many do the same things • Be creative/think “out of the box” • Look beyond formal associations (informal networks)

  25. Diaspora Organizations and ScienceTwo Worlds, One Mission Thank you! We wish you a fruitful seminar

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