Diaspora studies have been expanding the subject of their attention to a broad range of actors. Today, at times of diffused global power, diasporas have been reconsidered and reconceptualised as agents of change.
The linkages between diaspora and homeland and their impact on development are becoming more and more important in our networked age of globalisation, which is marked by proliferating population movements, transnational practices and cultural exchanges across political boundaries. In this context the value of comparative studies of diaspora communities from and in different countries has become increasingly apparent. Baring this goal in mind our aim is to expand our analysis in comparative framework.
Ukrainian diaspora mobilization
As a first step towards this aim we explore differences and similarities between the Greek and the Ukrainian diaspora in the UK. Ukraine has been going through a series of political and economic crises, as did Greece, such as the Euromaidan revolution, also sometimes called the ‘Revolution of Dignity’, which not only resulted in a change of government but also triggered a Russian military intervention and subsequently a partly related economic downturn. This also shaped the country’s relations with the EU. These events opened up opportunities for diaspora engagement that were not there before. For instance, diasporas became active in the country’s (post-) conflict reconstruction and development.
Our comparative study of the Greek and Ukranian diaspora aims to reveal how major "threshold events" – ongoing crisis in Greece and political and economic crisis and consequent war in Ukraine affected diaspora mobilization, activism, interaction and impact. We will explore the Ukrainian and Greek diaspora mobilisation in the UK comparatively and examine how they engage and contribute economically, socially, politically and culturally to their respective homelands. In addition, we will analyse how contexts shape this activism and look at the links diasporas have with their home states, host states and different actors. We will collect comparative data through survey and qualitative interviews with diasporic communities in UK.
When completed, the project will:
- enhance understanding of the characteristics, priorities, concerns, potential barriers and drawbacks for relevant diasporas;
- offer insight on diaspora engagement activities at times of crisis taking place through different sending countries and receiving countries;
- throw light on the importance of the contexts which shape diaspora activism and involvement; and
- provide a synthesis of these findings and a set of recommendations, policy considerations, potential barriers and drawbacks for diaspora engagement strategies, and suggestions for further research on diaspora engagement.