Conference - June 22-23, 2018

Homeland-Diaspora Relations in Flux

Greece and Greeks abroad at times of Crisis

St Antony's College, University of Oxford.

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Presenting paper

Diaspora Philanthropy and Volunteerism as a contestable process: tracing the connections and the disconnections between diaspora and homeland

This paper is concerned with the elaboration of a conceptual framework for tracing and understanding the dynamics that shape the degree and the nature of the connection between diaspora and homeland, through the examination of the case of the public and the private education domains in Greece. More specifically, the research questions that this paper seeks to answer are: Which factors influence the transmission of social remittances from the diaspora to the homeland? What kind of dynamics are developed during this transmission in the public and the private spheres? Do they lead to divergences or convergences? This paper argues that conflicting dynamics in both the public and the private spheres create a complex regime of disconnections that make diaspora philanthropy and volunteerism become a highly contestable process. Our conceptualization will be situated in the discussion of diaspora philanthropy, before being grounded in the theories of diaspora engagement and policy implementation. To test our hypothesis, we will use a methodology of a qualitative analysis of interviews supplemented by secondary data.

Author(s) bio

Antonis Kamaras has been a Research Officer at the Hellenic Observatory, at the European Institute of the LSE, where he conducted research on the internationalisation of Greek business in the Balkans and on the impact of market reforms on urban disparity in Greece. He has also co-authored research on FDI and the AKP ruling party in Turkey and on higher education governance in Greece and Turkey. One of the first Greek bankers to work in the Balkans in the early 1990’s he later became an advisor to the Governor of the National Bank of Greece (NBG) where he was mostly involved in the formulation and execution of the NBG’s regional strategy. He concluded his career in Greek banking in 2006, in Istanbul, Turkey, where he participated in the landmark acquisition by NBG of Finansbank, a leading, privately‐owned financial institution. He joined, as an analyst, Levant Partners, an Athens‐based hedge fund specialising in the emerging markets of South East Europe and the Middle East, in 2008. Since the crisis’ break-out he has served as an advisor to the Mayor of Thessaloniki and subsequently to Greece’s Minister of Finance, as a member of the Council of Economic Advisors. He holds a BA degree in Government from Connecticut College, an MSc degree in Political Theory and an MPhil degree in international political economy from the LSE.
Maria Eleni Anastasopoulou is a Research Assistant in the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR), University of Oxford. She holds a master’s degree in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Athens, from which she graduated as the valedictorian. She has worked as a researcher at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and at the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her research has dealt with issues of political discourse, right-wing extremism, migration policy, forced displacement, collective/historical memory, and diaspora.
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