Diasporic conceptions of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Authored by: Barzoo Eliassi

Routledge Handbook on the Kurds

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138646643
eBook ISBN: 9781315627427
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315627427-32

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Abstract

Diaspora conceived as a transnational community informs political, social, emotional and economic engagement with the country of origin and settlement. 1 The concept of diaspora offers an important perspective on how different migrant groups experience dislocation and relate to the country of settlement and origin. The questions of movement, connectivity and return are accordingly central to diasporic identity formation. 2 Diasporas are not homogenous, and their members often hold different or conflicting views on the political order of their country of origin due to their social locations based on gender, ethnic and religious identity, political party affiliation, ideological orientations, class and generation. An important distinction that needs to be made in a world of nation states is that diasporas are either state-linked or stateless. While state-linked diasporas might defend the official narratives and ruling institutions of their nation states when faced with subaltern claims about shared sovereignty and equality, stateless diasporas often challenge and pursue a redefinition of the state to be more inclusive of their political, cultural, religious and ethnic differences. In addition, stateless diasporas can also affirm and/or challenge authoritarianism within their own societies. Nonetheless, this is not to say that members of state-linked diasporas (e.g., Turkish diaspora) do not oppose authoritarian regimes or political parties in the countries of origin, but when it comes to the question of state identity or sovereignty that is often challenged by stateless diasporas, the issue becomes thorny and intricate. 3

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