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

The Greek diaspora in a comparative perspective: conceptual and theoretical framework

Today, at times of diffused global power, diasporas have been reconsidered and reconceptualised as agents of change. In an age of globalisation, networks and proliferating population movements, transnational practices and cultural exchanges across political boundaries and the linkages between diaspora and homeland and their impact on development are becoming more and more pertinent. In this context comparative studies of diaspora communities from and in different countries have become ever more apparent. This paper provides (a) the conceptual and theoretical framework to the Greek Diaspora Project (GDP) in the UK and (b) discusses potentially relevant comparison with the Ukrainian diaspora. This is because just like too Greece Ukraine has been going through a series of political and economic crises, notably the Euromaidan revolution, which not only resulted in a change of government but also triggered a Russian military intervention and subsequently some economic downturn. Diasporas became active in the countries’ (post-) conflict reconstruction and development. These events thus shaped the countries’ relations with the EU and also opened up opportunities for diaspora engagements that were not there before. Specifically, this contribution explores how major "threshold events" – ongoing crisis in Greece and political and economic crisis and the war in Ukraine affect diaspora mobilization, activism, interaction and impact. It also examines how diasporas contribute economically, socially, politically and culturally to the post-crisis resp. post-conflict reconstruction. Finally, it analyses how contexts shape this activism and look at the links diasporas have with their home states, host states and different actors.

Author bio

Iryna Lapshyna has a Phd in International Economics. She is a lecturer at the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv). Previously, Iryna was a Senior Researcher at COMPAS, University of Oxford where she worked on the project ‘Does immigration enforcement matter? Irregular immigrants and control policies in the UK’ funded by the ESRC (2016- 2017). She was also a grant holder of the British Academy and completed a project on the Ukrainian Diaspora in the UK and Poland (“Do Diasporas matter? Exploring the potential role of Diaspora in the reform and post-conflict reconstruction of Ukraine”, 2015-2016). Prior to this, she worked as national expert on an EU-funded FP7 project “Imagining Europe from the outside” (2010-2013). From 2002 to 2014, she was Associate Professor at Lviv Academy of Commerce, Ukraine. Her research focuses on labour migration, irregular migration, individual perceptions and aspirations, diaspora, corruption and human capital development. She has published a book ‘Human capital development in Ukraine’ (2008) and several articles
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