The project’s main objective is to investigate what triggers conflict transportation in diaspora settings, what prevents it, and how host countries respond at the local and national levels. Our core hypothesis is that individuals belonging to conflict-generated diasporas do not necessarily wish to become involved in conflicts still happening in their home countries, and/or that they will transport these conflicts in their host countries. In this perspective, we propose to
- concentrate on the contexts in which conflict transportation happens and how host societies cope with it;
- explore transnational mobilizations and their impact on the potential internationalization of conflicts;
- examine the autonomization of conflicts, studying the impact of host societies on the changing forms and dynamics of antagonistic relations between diaspora groups;
- investigate the configurations in which peaceful coexistence prevails, and highlight practices and discourses conducive to peaceful dialogue between these communities.
To do so, the project draws on five interlinked ethnographic field studies. Together, these studies develop a multi-sited ethnographic methodology illuminating the complexity of diasporas’ relations to homeland conflicts from contrasted contexts, and provide the practical and theoretical substance underpinning our collective work.
This methodology allows us to overcome three limitations persisting in today’s literature on diasporas: ethical (the suspicion put on entire communities because they originate from conflict areas); methodological (the persistence, under a new outfit, of methodological nationalism) and analytical (the teleological fallacy induced by the fact that starting the analysis on the premise of the transportation of conflicts affects the conclusions). By unpacking the diaspora-conflict nexus, our project promotes de-securitized, fluidified visions of diasporas and thus provides renewed avenues for research and policy making.
This, we argue, is all the more important since relations between diasporas matter for broader community cohesion. Possible societal “tensions” are not solely between the host society and the diasporas, but occur also within diasporas, with consequences on their societal integration (or lack thereof). Our project thus ambitions to promote a more inclusive society by fostering a better understanding, participation and inclusion of local diaspora groups.