Diasporas in Conflict

Peacemakers or Peace Wreckers?

Hazel Smith, Paul Stares
Release Date: June 1, 2007

Diasporas can have a positive and a negative impact on international politics. Groups of exiles, refugees, migrants, and other forms of diaspora populations play a part in the processes and outcomes of international politics in both their native and adopted countries.

Diasporas can secure tangible and intangible resources to fuel armed conflicts, and they can provide opaque institutional and network structures that enable the transfer of arms and money to terrorist groups. More positively, diasporascan give humanitarian assistance to victims of conflict and they also support post-war reconstruction efforts. They have the potential to make powerful contributions to peace and reconciliation.

This book investigates the diverse roles of diasporas in different phases of conflict, including preconflict and escalatory phases, hot conflict, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. The contributors identify patterns of diaspora intervention in conflicts and focus on leverage points for constructive interventions by global policymakers. The book brings together globally authoritative voices in the study of diasporas from the diverse disciplines of political science, sociology, cultural studies, literary theory, feminist theory, and anthropology.