Diaspora as an International Actor
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorDiasporas and the Nation-StatesTraditionally victim diasporas, as victimized and challenged by the nation-states with an emphasis on diasporas dual loyalty.Contested loyalties even when they have citizenship of their host countriesE.g.: Jews of France in the 19th Century
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorVicious circle: The diasporic identity under the challenge of the nation states breeds an in-group mentality and isolation of themselves as a separate group.And this in turn breeds the distance, suspicion. hostility towards them by the host nation-state and ethnic core. he system is complete when manifestations of such hostilities loop back to engender new sources of apprehension and further inclinations to clannishness and endogamy.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorDiaspora as a Challenge to Nation-States in a Transnational World The changed meanings of the contemporary concept, a new and exciting way of understanding cultural differences, identity politics and some even proclaimed the dissolution of the nation-state.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorThe expression 'diaspora' is now widely used in interesting and suggestive contexts. Now the word is deployed as a metaphoric designation to describe different categories of people: expatriates, expellees, political refugees, alien residents, immigrants and ethnic and racial minorities.Cubans and Mexicans in the US, Maghrebis in France, Turks in Germany, the Chinese in South-East Asia, Greeks, Poles, Palestinians and blacks in North America even French-speaking Belgians living in communal enclaves in Wallonia.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorTraditionally nation-States coped with ethnic diversity by demanding exclusive citizenship, border control, linguistic conformity and political obedience. Moreover the nation-state was offered as an object of devotion. Its citizens were enjoined to love their country, to revere its institutions, to salute its flag, to support its sporting teams, to fight and die for it in war. But there are crucial differences , between the periods loosely known as 'modernity' and 'the age of globalization. The world has changed; the space for multiple affiliations and associations became the norm in the age of globalization.Diaspora as a Transnational ActorNational identities are under challenge from de-territorialized social and cultural I identities. In the age of globalization, the world is being organized by nation-states and regions, but also beyond the nation-states by overlapping, permeable multiple system of interactions. This system creates communities not of place but of interest, based on shared opinions and beliefs, tastes, ethnicities,religions, cuisine, the lifestyles etc.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorIn the face of powerfully defended nationalist sentiments it has until recently, been difficult for diasporic groups to express their true attitudes to the nation-states in which they have found themselves. Now Diasporas want not only the security and opportunity available in their countries of settlement, but also a continuing relationship, with their country of origin and ethnic members in other countries.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorAn problem becoming acute in the contemporary, interdependent international system: the lack of congruence between ethnic nations and the geographical and political boundaries of states. Nineteenth century European nationalism: sense of belonging, peoplehood forms the basis of ethnicity. Ethnicity is a subjective, primordial identity that clearly distinguishes between group members and outsiders
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorIncreasing salience of ethnicity: the ethnic group is a significant basis for group cleavage in many advanced industrial societies because ethnic identity is an effective means of group mobilization. The ethnic group becomes an efficient vehicle for expressing demands for group advantage, power, status, and wealth in the political systems. ln the face of increasingly technocratic and bureaucratic industrial societies, the ethnic group combines utilitarian interests with affective power bases .Other means of group mobilization- ideological and class ties- have declined in recent years.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorEthnic groups surely do not rival states in military capabilities or, in the coercive state power, BUT they can weaken or divert them. Ethnic groups do challenge the legitimacy reserved for states in a great many countries throughout the world.Diaspora as a Transnational ActorAnalysis of the transnational dimensions of ethnicity The intra-societal level alerts us to interactions between societies without the direct intervention of state decision-making elites. This level investigates the impact of global communication processes on the intensification of ethnicity within a state. The state level conceptualizes ethnic groups as direct participants in world politics, particularly the ways in which ethnic groups interact with states and other international actors. The global level of analysis studies ethnicity as all independent transnational force. It is most concerned with how increasing Ievels of worldwide interdependence and dependence affect the prospects for the intensification or attenuation of ethnicity throughout the world.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorIncreasing salience of ethnicity effective in two respects: (I) through the politicization of global communication and transportation networks; (2) in accelerating patterns of political and cultural fragmentation.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorDramatic increases in the scope and intensity of intergroup contacts via technological advancements help to transform contemporary world politics by facilitating the creation of networks of transnational ties among ethnic groups around the world. Vastly expanded com ties among ethnic groups around the world reduce the control a state exercises over its internal environment. The extent of global penetration in domestic politics provides ethnic groups with greatest ties for transnational interactions.Diaspora as a Transnational ActorNot only the nature or density of. the communications but the message through such communications-reveals much about way that accelerating patterns of worldwide political and cultural fragmentation have resulted in rising ethnic consciousness.Perhaps the most powerful rationale for political fragmentation lies in the ideological arena. The principle of self-determination serves as a justification for fragmentation based on ethnic diversity. This is a particularly acute problem in Third World nations that are multiethnic by definition since: political borders were established by colonial administrators rather than by indigenous ethnic groups .Diaspora as a Transnational ActorEthnic conflicts are not confined to states undergoing the strains of modernization. Neither the modernization of the nation-state nor the modernization of the international order is a guarantee of ethnic conflict. Historically well-integrated nations and regions have witnessed the re-intensification of ethnic attachments and witnessed the outbursts of ethnic conflicts.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorThe salience of ethnicity in advanced industrial states results from the steady expansion of "political boundaries and areas. There has been a progressive expansion of the political arena in advanced societies, particularly since World War II. Economics, social-welfare policy, and religious issues assume an intensely politicized dimension. When the political arena becomes the central point of life in industrialized countries, the ethnic group becomes an essential vehicle for placing group demands on the political process.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorThe state system legitimates ethnicity as a key social and political variable in world politics. The progressive blurring of lines between a state's foreign policy and its domestic facilitates the prominence of ethnic groups as transnational actors.Distinctions between high politics (intensely politicized issue areas: such as national defense, political stability, and economic autonomy) and low politics (primarily technical and bureaucratic concerns) are no longer valid. Increased interdependence also makes states more vulnerable to outside manipulation.Diaspora as a Transnational ActorTwo trends in world politics, perhaps not fully developed at this time, promote ethnicity on a global level: (I) the proliferation of transnational actors, for example, multinational corporations; and (2) evolving patterns of interdependence, dependency, and global dominance throughout the world system.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorMultinational corporations are not restrained by the traditional attributes of state sovereignty, such as territoriality and nationalism. In contrast to states, MNCs are free -wheeling entities that directly interact with ethnic groups throughout the global system.Diaspora as a Transnational ActorThe world system is increasingly interconnected, thus providing transnational actors with the potential for unprecedented influence if they mobilize effectively. This is not to suggest that. transnational actors operate without constraints, but rather to emphasize the fluidity of global political relations under conditions of interdependence. Diaspora as a Transnational ActorKeohane and Nye argue that the patterns of "complex" interdependence alter traditional interstate interaction in three areas: (l) multiple channels of communications by all types of actors-states, bureaucracies, nongovernmental actors, international organizations, and individuals; (2) the absence of a hierarchy of issues-specifically, the decline of military security issues and the increased importance of economic, technical, and social concerns; (3) The governments experience a loss of control and reduced effectiveness in the formulation of public policy. Thus, complex networks of functional tasks restricts state sovereignty in economic, social, political and foreign policy areas.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorDynamics of Disintegration: Diaspora, Secession, and the Paradox of Nation statesFocuses on the processes of diaspora formation and secession motivation as a dynamic, ongoing process.At the center of the national ideal is the belief that people with a distinct character should possess their own territory.Both diasporic existence and secessionist claims are what, might-be termed counter theoretical concepts, inconsistent with the structural rationale of the global system.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorTwo distinct independent variables: nation type and regime type.Nation type deals with the nature of the intra-national bonds that forge the unity in the sense of national identity, defining its limits and the span of the heterogeneity of its membership. Regime type deals with the manner in which the nation is governed, particularly in terms of the pluralism and accountability that prevail in its polity.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorThe mutual interaction between respective nation and regime types not only determines which variant of secession motivation and diaspora formation will be dominant, but it also generates a source for the rejuvenation of old identities and the awakening of new onesThis process of identity creation and re-creation is a persistent challenge to the prevailing state system.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorThe effect of nation typeThe ethnofocal variant sees nation as an organic division of humanity decreed by some divine or natural edict; in contrast, the ideofocal variant perceives the nation as a community formed by the will of individual members to be ; and not dependent upon race or descent, but upon a common thought and a common goal.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorThe ethnic-civic paradigm focuses more on the end results of political processes (the kind of states and/or nations that reflect the culmination of a process of nation- building), Whereas ethnofocal-ideofocal places a greater emphasis on the causal origins of political processes (the nature of the nuclei around which national collectivities coalesce and that seed the nation-building process).Diaspora as a Transnational ActorThe major failures that produce processes of diaspora formation and secession motivation:In an ethnofocal setting , diaspora formation and/or secessionist drives may be the result of either of the failure to create (or impose) a monoethnic national identity or the failure to maintain one. By contrast, in an ideofocal setting, diaspora formation and/or secessionist drives likely the result of failure to impose a supraethnic national identity or failure to maintain one.Diaspora as a Transnational ActorEthofocal failure in the creation of an ethnofocal identity for allCertain nation-states implement an ethnofocal principle by imposing the identity of a dominant ethnic group as the national identity of the state, even though the boundaries of geopolitical sovereignty do not coincide with the boundaries of ethnopolitical allegiance .Resistance to this imposition may lead to migration (forced or voluntary) of the ethnic minority, and the creation of diasporas outside its indigenous homeland.Rebellion by an ethnic minority to extricate itself from foreign domination by secession or irredentism that is to either establish a seperate ethnofocal sovereignty or to unite with a contagious neigboring state of compatible ethnic make-up.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorEthofocal failure in maintaining an ethnofocal identity for allEven in states in which the implementation of the ethnofocal principle has largely been successful (with or without the use of force) they are not immune to divisions either.Such rifts have also produced large flows of exiles and refugees turned diasporas.Such exilic groups, however, should be distinguished from stateless diasporic communities, that aspire to create a new (additional) state, rather than displace an incumbent regime in an existing state.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorAnother variant of failure to maintain ethno-focal national unity may come from incoming- migratory pressures resulting in expatriate ethnic communities that may develop into incipient diasporas.E.g.: Turks in GermanyDiaspora as a Transnational ActorThe failure to create an ideofocal national identityThe failure to force a hybrid multi-ethnic national identity onto an ethnically diverse distinct society, either by administrative or legalistic means in libertarian regimes (i.e., civic nationalism) or by authoritarian coercion, is liable to incite secessionist demands and produce a refugee-based diaspora.Diaspora as a Transnational ActorFailure to Maintain a Supraethnic IdentityThe principal causal impetus is likely to be the obsolescence or loss of relevance of a former unifying ideal. A supra ethnic ideal may be accepted and even internalized in authoritarian settings as well as libertarian ones, the failure to maintain such internalization (after it has been achieved). E.g.: Conflicts in in the former Yugoslavia
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorThe effect of regime typeAuthoritative/Libertarian RegimesAutocratic regimes' limited plurality and accountability affords them with greater freedom of action in dealing coercively with challenges to their sovereign authority relative to libertarian regimesThe regime type has also an important effect on certain diaspora formation and secession related processes.Diaspora as a Transnational ActorLibertarian Ethnofocal StatesVery few libertarian states with ethnofocal aspiration have heen able to maintain a mono ethnically homogeneous community. More frequently ethnofocal libertarian states were established by a dominant group that incorporated indigenous minorities who were reluctant to forgo the perception of congruence between their ethnic affiliation and their own national identity.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorIn ethnofocal libertarian states, especially those uncomplicated by ethnically disparate minorities, a high value is placed preserving the uniformity of the community. Despite their basic reluctance to admit non-national immigrants refugees, many homogenous libertarian states have opened their gates to aliens for economic or humane reasons. Though Though such immigrant communities are not likely to become secessionists as they have no generic ties to a defined region in their new country rather they tend to cultivate minority consciousness.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorBy juxtaposing the liberal ethos of their host state against the ethnofocal definition of the community, immigrant groups may pose a challenge to the ethnofocal identity of their host countries. E.g.: France and GermanyDiaspora as a Transnational ActorArend Lijphart points out the imposition of dominant national identity tends to spur claims for autonomy or self-governance and to breed tensions of dual loyalties.Ethno-focal liberal states may choose to abandon the option of assimilation in favor of convocational solutions which accept plural divisions as basic building blocks for a stable democratic regime. If such arrangements are implausible or were tried and failed the remaining logical alternative is to reduce pluralism by dividing the state into two or more separate and more homogenous states.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorIdeofocal Libertarian StatesThe rejection focuses on inclusion into a larger ethnically heterogeneous entity under the banner of alleged civil "homogenization." In an ideofocal setting the rejection is of perceived ethnic egalitarianism, according to which socio-cultural diversity must be subordinated to civic-legal equality in the dispensation of governmental authority. E.g.: The US
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorIdeofocal authoritarian state A pan-ethnic vision is invoked to erase previous ethno-national loyalties of indigenous peoples in the geopoitical boundaries of the state. E.g.: Soviet state, Titoist Yugoslavia (failure to maintain)Attempts to blur the ethno-distinctiveness of regions may lead to a large-scale relocation of population. As regions secede, often because of radical ethno-nationalists gaining the upper hand against the sentiment of the general public, attempts to rebuild lost national identities may result in transformation of settler communities into ethnic diasporas. Diaspora as a Transnational ActorA world order of nation-states is seemingly incapable of preventing either the dispersion of stateless minorities or the continuing rebellion of ever-emerging ethnicities. These ethnicities perpetually demand new vehicles to express their own distinct national aspiration as independent political entities, separate from the existing array of nation-states.
Diaspora as a Transnational ActorThe static perspective fails to capture the dynamics of a reality in which political loyalties and national identities are constantly changing even after stable nation-states have formed.These dynamics, which may include processes such as ideofocal disintegration and ethnofocal rupture suggest that diaspora formations and secession claims are in fact endemic to a world order of nation states rather than anomalous anachronisms doomed to extinction.
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