Diaspora Positionality: A Conceptual and Empirical Discussion

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Gyllenhielmska library, Skytteanum, Valvgatan 4
  • Lecturer: Dr. Maria Koinova, Associate Professor at the Politics and International Studies Department at Warwick University
  • Website
  • Organiser: Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice and the Hugo Valentine Centre
  • Contact person: Per-Olov Hammargren
  • Phone: 018- 471 20 72
  • Föreläsning

Maria Koinova is the Director of the ERC Starting Grant 'Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty' and will talk about the topic of Diaspora Positionality: A Conceptual and Empirical Discussion.

Maria Koinova is the Director of the ERC Starting Grant 'Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty' and will talk about the topic of Diaspora Positionality: A Conceptual and Empirical Discussion.

The field of transnational diaspora politics has grown exponentially over the past decade. While comparative studies developed more sophistication over time, they have primarily focused on the host-state and homeland contexts, but have not well understood the connectivity between an original homeland, its diasporas abroad, and the contexts in which these diasporas are embedded.

Maria Koinova addresses this gap with presentation about the concept of diaspora positionality, which she has earlier introduced for the study of transnational diaspora politics, but develop in more conceptual and empirical detail here. She demonstrate specific characteristics of positionality as a term – such as its relativity, power relations, and fluidity – and tease out the term’s differences from closely related spatial concepts such as distance/proximity, position in a network, location/place, and scale. She further demonstrate three ways in which positionality is important for the analysis of transnational diaspora politics. These are when the homeland or a strategic center factors diaspora positionality in different host-states, diaspora positionality in a transnational social field spanning host-state and home-state, and diaspora positionality in a transnational social field spanning different host-states. Maria brings empirical evidence from the cases of four conflict-generated diasporas – the Kosovo Albanian, Armenian, Palestinian, and Bosnian – and their relations with their original homelands experiencing contested sovereignty.