- Can conflict-generated diasporas be moderate actors during episodes of contested sovereignty? Lebanese and Albanian diasporas compared
- Review of International Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 37 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Abstract. Conflict-generated diasporas are considered likely to maintain radical behaviours.
This article seeks to explain why and how they nevertheless adopt moderate claims, especially when advocating highly sensitive issues such as state sovereignty. Focusing on groups in the US I investigate the Lebanese diaspora linked to the pro-sovereignty movement in Lebanon (2000-2005) and the Albanian diaspora linked to Kosovo’s independence movement (1999-2008). The contentious episodes take place during the original homeland’s post-conflict reconstruction. Embedded in the literatures on diasporas, conflicts, and transnational social movements, this article argues that instrumental approach towards the achievement of sovereignty explains why conflict-generated diasporas adopt moderate behaviours. Diasporas hope that by linking their claims to a global political opportunity structure of ‘liberalism’ they ‘play the game’ of the international community interested in promoting the liberal paradigm, and thus expect to obtain its support for the legitimisation of their pro-sovereignty goals. Diaspora entrepreneurs advance their claims in a two-step process. Initially they use frame bridging and frame extension to formulate their existing grievances. Then, an increased responsiveness from their host-state emerges to sustain their initial moderation. While individuals or groups in diaspora circles occasionally issue threats during the contentious episodes, the majority in the diaspora consider moderate politics as their dominant behaviour.
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