The Strategic Logic of Diaspora Management

SÉMINAIRE / SEMINAR

CFEE Seminar on Contemporary Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa (2015-2016)

3ème séance / 3rd session: The Strategic Logic of Diaspora Management, par/by Harris MYLONAS

In partnership with the Political Science Department and the Social Anthropology Department of Addis Ababa University.

Jeudi 29 octobre 2015 (14h-16h) / Thursday October 29th 2015 (2-4 PM). Lieu / Venue : Amphitheater G20, Sidist Kilo Campus, Addis Ababa University.

The Strategic Logic of Diaspora Management, by Harris MYLONAS

Countries like Israel or Japan extend their policies beyond their citizens living abroad to include communities that have not lived in their purported homeland for generations, while others like New Zealand or the USA do not. Beyond the variation in defining the diaspora in each country, there is also variation in the application of policy. For instance, countries like Canada and Sweden have uniform policies to engage their diasporas, while others like Mexico or South Korea vary their diaspora policy on the basis of the citizens’ skills or host country origin. What accounts for the variation in diaspora policy? This research entails fieldwork in a selected set of countries to collect primary qualitative data which will be analyzed to test the preliminary hypothesis that a state’s policies toward different diasporic communities are a function of both the role that each community plays in the receiving country relative to its potential role in the—real or imagined—homeland as well as the bilateral relations—and balance of power—between the receiving and sending states.

Some scholars suggest that the variation is due to labor market needs; others claim it is due to characteristics of the various diasporic communities (e.g., ideology, wealth, educational background, degree of assimilation, and/or time abroad); yet others highlight the importance of lobbying efforts by diaspora entrepreneurs. This study will help elucidate currently understudied questions of when and how national security imperatives shape diaspora management policies, and it will examine how states reconcile sometimes contradictory imperatives of national security, economic considerations, and ethnic solidarity when engaging their diasporas.

The speaker

Harris Mylonas joined the Political Science department at George Washington University as an Assistant Professor in 2009. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University, his MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago, and completed his undergraduate degree at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Athens, Greece. In 2008-2009 and 2011-2012 academic years he was an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. He is the author ofThe Politics of Nation-Building: Making Co-Nationals, Refugees, and Minorities(Cambridge University Press, 2012), for which he won the 2014 European Studies Book Award by the Council for European Studies which honors the best first book on any subject in European Studies published within a two-year period as well as The Peter Katzenstein Book Prize for the best first book on International Relations, Comparative Politics, or Political Economy in 2013. His research focuses on the processes of nation- and state-building, the politicization of cultural differences, and diaspora management policies. His work has been published in Perspectives on Politics, Security Studies, Comparative Political Studies, Ethnopolitics, European Journal of Political Research, Social Science Quarterly, and various edited volumes. He is currently working on his second book project–tentatively entitled The Strategic Logic of Diaspora Management–analyzing why some states develop policies to cultivate links with and/or to attract back certain diasporic communities while others do not. He is associate editor of Nationalities Papers and Vice President of the Association for the Study of Nationalities.


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