Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation


ERC Project “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty”: Series of Concluding Academic and Public Events, 26-29 September, 2017

Series of academic and public engagement activities took place in association with the concluding work of the ERC Starting Grant Project “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty” 26-29 September, 2017.

On 26 September, 2017, a workshop organized on the theme “Migrants’ and Diaspora Responses to the Rise of Right-wing Populism” with 16 participants from different parts of Europe and USA at Warwick University in London. The workshop discussed how migrants and diasporas mobilize either against or in support of populist movements in an era of increasing anti-immigrant sentiments and attempts to redefine national belonging. The full program could be found here.

On 26 September, 2017 at 6 pm. the ERC project team presented research findings during a public event at the conflict journalism Frontline Club in London, on the Soft Power of Diasporas. Prominent journalists from the Financial Times and the BBC joined the ERC “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty” team in a lively discussion. More information about this public event is available here.

On 28-29 September, 2017 the final conference “Beyond the Territorial State: Diaspora Mobilizations and Contested Sovereignty in the European Neighborhood” took place in the Radcliffe Conference Centre at Warwick University, with embedded panels of a second workshop on “Diasporas and Challenges to the Statehood in the Middle East and North Africa.” The conference has gathered more than 30 presenters and discussants from different parts of Europe, the USA, and Canada.

The presentation of the ERC project's findings and contributions to theory, methodology and empirical data gathering has taken place on 28 September, 2017 at 9:00 - 11:00 in Radcliffe.

A full program of this academic conference is available here.

A report on the publications, academic and public engagement activities conducted by the ERC “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty” team (2012-2017) is available here.

Academic Workshop: “Diasporas and Challenges to Statehood in the Middle East and North Africa” 28-29 September, 2017

This workshop was organized as part of a larger conference "Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty: Lessons Learned about Transnational Diaspora Mobilizations in Europe” on 28-29 September, 2017 at Warwick University, and was sponsored by the European Research Council. The workshop souoght to consolidate scholarly discussions about the role of diasporas linked to the Middle East and North Africa from the Global North and South, and to move on from initial consideration of diasporas as simply conflict or peace actors. It looked into broader conflict and postconflict dynamics, where a variety of domestic and international actors influence political processes, and endorse or challenge weak states, their governance or international recognition. When do diasporas mobilize with their loyalties towards sectarian or nationalist factions, and when do they do so on the basis of citizenship and cosmopolitan ideas? When and how do they seek transitional justice for past atrocities and what is the role of trauma for their mobilizations? How do original home-states in the Middle East and North Africa and non-state actors operating on their territories reach out to diasporas abroad? When do diasporas sympathize with their causes or when do they oppose them? How do contexts of host-states and spaces within and beyond them, as well as liberal and non-liberal regimes shape diaspora mobilizations? More information is available here.

Academic Workshop "Migrants’ and Diaspora Responses to the Rise of Right-Wing Populism"

Radical-right populist movements have grown more potent in liberal democracies, yet there has been little academic focus on how migrant and diaspora populations react to these parties, although anti-immigration campaigning is at the core of populist activities. The European Research Council Project "Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty" held a workshop dedicated to research on how migrant and diaspora communities respond to populist, anti-immigrant and ethno-nationalist movements. We addressed research on whether, when and how migrants and diasporas mobilise; what groups or parties they choose as political allies; and whether radical-right parties themselves reach out to certain diasporas while rejecting others, among other questions. The workshop held at the University of Warwick’s London site on September 26, 2017. More information about the workshop is available here.

Diasporas and Transitional Justice Workshop on 21 February, 2017

Maria Koinova and Dzeneta Karabegovic are organized a workshop “Diasporas and Transitional Justice” on 21 February, 2017 in Baltimore, MD. The workshop was conducted within the framework of the European Research Council Starting Grant “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty”, and took place prior to the annual convention of the International Studies Association 2017. It discussed a novel research line to study the involvement of diasporas and other non-state actors in transitional justice processes in deeply divided societies. The workshop gathered established and early career scholars working on issues of reconciliation and remembrance of the past, genocide recognition, and mobilization activities such as competition, cooperation, and coalition-building through offline and online activism. Empirical cases were derived from all parts of the world, with specific references to Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haiti, Ukraine, Kurdish areas in the Middle East, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Vietnam, among others. A follow-up workshop with a different group of scholars took place at Warwick University on 3 April, 2017. More information could be obtained here.

APSA Migration and Citizenship Division Co-Chair

Dr. Maria Koinova, PI of the ERC Project "Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty", became the Division Co-chair for the development of the program of the Migration and Citizenship Section at the American Political Science Association during its annual meeting in San Francisco, California, August 31-September 3, 2017. This year APSA's annual convention is exploring the theme "The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations." More information is available here.

High-profile Policy-relevant Event in Brussels on 28 March, 2017: Global Diaspora Mobilisation

Understanding how EU Member States can Engage Refugee and Migrant Diasporas

The ERC Starting Grant “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty”, Warwick University and the ESRC Impact Fund organized a high profile policy-relevant event in Brussels on 28 March 2017. The event aimed to discuss global diaspora politics considering but also extending knowledge beyond the current refugee crisis. The global refugee crisis brings pressing concerns how to manage refugees on the move and deal with fragile sending states in conflict and disarray. While such concerns take the limelight, long-term effects of refugee and large-scale migration movements remain in the shadow. Over time refugees may return home, but many will remain in their new destinations, or move on to others, and eventually turn into conflict-generated diasporas with durable links to their original homelands. Dr. Maria Koinova (Warwick University) and Dr. Daniel Naujoks (Columbia University) discussed policy-relevant academic findings with representatives of the European Commission and migration-relevant think-tanks in Brussels on 28 March, 2017. More information about this high-profile event could be obtained here.

Dr. Koinova's Article Selected in IPSR Editor's Choice Collection

Dr. Maria Koinova's article "Sustained vs. Episodic Mobilization among Conflict-generated Diasporas" International Political Science Review 37(44): 500-516, was selected by the editors of the IPSR journal for their Choice Collection on the topic of "Borders and Margins" in view of the forthcoming World Congress of the International Political Science Association in July 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. They have also opened full access to this article. More information about the Editor’s Choice Collection is available here.

ISA – Warwick Workshop "Unpacking the Sending State: Regimes, Institutions, and non-State Actors in Diaspora & Emigration Politics", 12-13 September, 2016, Warwick University

This workshop sought to understand how regimes, institutions and non-actors shape sending states’ extraterritorial engagement with migrants and diaspora populations abroad. This was the second workshop to be convened as part of a venture research grant, sponsored by the International Studies Association, to be additionally sponsored by the ERC Starting Grant “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty.” This emerging research agenda sought to consolidate ideas on international migration politics within the fields of International Relations and Comparative Politics on issues of statehood, conflicts and security, democratization, authoritarianism, political economy, and political geography.The focus of the second workshop was on the role of political regimes. More information about the workshop is available here.

Survey Workshop and Advisory Board

The ERC Project “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty” held a survey workshop on May 3, 2016 with experts in polling migrants and individuals with origins in conflict and post-conflict regions. The one-day workshop was examine the sampling frame, sample size, sampling techniques, translation in multiple languages, questionnaire design, non-response rates and data cleaning. As part of the procedures to launch the survey, the project has established an advisory board. More information and the program can be found here.

Dr. Koinova Chairs a New BISA Working Group on International Politics of Migration, Refugees, and Diasporas

The British International Studies Association has convened a new working group on “International Politics of Migration, Refugees and Diaspora,” co-founded by Maria Koinova (Warwick), Gerasimos Tsourapas (SOAS) and Sarah Garding (Oxford). This working group will respond to a growing demand to discuss issues of migration and international politics at BISA. It aims to consolidate discussions within several streams of scholarship, which speak to each other, but are mostly discussed in isolation. The group will incorporate scholarship on how diasporas as non-state actors affect international affairs for democratisation, development, conflict and post- conflict reconstruction, and how sending states exercise their agency to engage diasporas for their own state-building and economic projects. We also seek to understand large-scale refugee population movements, and how such movements speak to issues of human and minority rights, challenges to statehood, and diffusion of ideas across borders. In this, the group will welcome the perspectives of refugees themselves, states, the European Union, UN, and international organizations. We also seek to integrate studies on citizenship and its transnational dimensions, especially regarding dual and multiple citizenship, which underpin the politics of states towards migrants, as well as the transnational activism of migrants, refugees and diasporas as non-state actors. These discussions will engage existing scholarship on migrant integration, assimilation, and securitization, as well as on transnational aspects of migration such as building of transnational projects and spaces.

Public Lecture by Dr. Neophytos Loizides

The ERC Project “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty” and the PAIS International Security Cluster organize a public lecture by Dr. Neophytos Loizides, Reader in Conflict Analysis at the University of Kent, on 28 April, 2016, 12:00 - 14:00 in S0.20. The public lecture is entitled "Rethinking Conflict Resolution in the Contemporary Post-Ottoman Neighborhood and Beyond" and will present innovative theories about institutional design of divided societies. More information could be obtained here.

Keynote Lecture by Dr. Maria Koinova at the CEU in Budapest

Dr. Maria Koinova, Reader in IR and Principal Investigator of the ERC Project “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty,” is giving a keynote lecture on 7 April, 2016 at a conference at the Central European University in Budapest on “Diasporas in Eastern Europe.” The lecture is entitled “Diasporas, Sending States and Socio-spatial Positionality” and will feature how the socio-spatial position of diasporas in specific contexts empowers diaspora entrepreneurs in different ways, and accounts for trajectories of transnational diaspora mobilization. More information could be obtained here.

Dr. Maria Koinova Convenes a Prestigious ISA Workshop on Sending States and Global Migration

Dr. Maria Koinova (Reader in IR, Warwick), together with Dr. Gerasimos Tsourapas (Senior Teaching Fellow, SOAS), is the academic convener of a prestigious venture workshop at the annual convention of the International Studies Association in Atlanta, GA. The workshop is entitled: "Unpacking the Sending State: Regimes, Institutions and Non-state Actors in Diaspora and Emigration Politics." The workshop will include two sessions exploring the impact of weak and strong states on diaspora and migration mobilisations abroad, and another two sessions on the effects of democratic, competitive authoritarian, and authoritarian regimes on those mobilisations. These themes are also explored through the lens of the global governance of migration. More information could be obtained here.

Public Event: Refugees and Diasporas in Conflict and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

November 26, 2015.

The current refugee crisis in the Mediterranean has been of unprecedented proportions since the Second World War. It brings to the fore the difficult faith experienced by many refugees and conflict-generated diasporas at different times and in different places. This roundtable seeks to shed light on diaspora activism related to the conflicts of Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, Lebanon, Nagorno-Karabakh, Palestine, Sri Lanka, and Rwanda, among others, and to draw parallels with the current refugee crisis. It also aims to discuss how diasporas support their home countries during post-conflict reconstruction. More information about this public event is available here.

Workshop: "Diaspora Mobilization for Conflict and Post-conflict Reconstruction: Comparative and Contextual Dimensions"

Dates: 26-27 November 2015 at Warwick University.

Scholarly endeavors to study how diasporas mobilize for the conflict, peace-building, and post-conflict reconstruction of their original homelands have grown exponentially during the past decade. While many theoretically driven case studies continue to emerge, scholars realize that comparisons of diaspora mobilizations in different contexts are necessary to arrive at more general explanations. Contexts of mobilizations could be nation-states, but also other local and global locations. Submission of papers is particularly welcome to provide insights about: 1) diasporic identities, 2) conditions providing political opportunity structures for transnational mobilization, 3) causal mechanisms concatenating in mobilization processes, 4) and transnational diaspora networks, penetrating various local and global locations. Theoretically elaborate case studies and comparative studies of various contexts are particularly welcome. More information can be obtained here.

Public Event: "Bosnia and Herzegovina 20 Years after Dayton: Achievements, Challenges, and Transnational Diaspora Activism"

On November 19, 2015 the ERC Project "Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty" organised a public event on "Bosnia and Herzegovina 20 Years after Dayton: Achievements, Challenges, and Transnational Diaspora Activism." The Dayton Agreement (1995) effectively ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, following genocide in Srebrenica, the worst mass atrocity committed in Europe since WWII. The roundtable analyzed lessons learned in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the past 20 years, and the achievements and challenges vis-à-vis its diaspora living globally, peacebuilding, transitional justice, and European integration. Special emphasis was put on the transnational diaspora mobilisation of the Bosnian diaspora in different countries. More information about this event is available here.

Film Screening: “Grandma’s Tattoos”

grandma.jpgOn 16 May, 2015 at 13.00 the film “Grandma’s Tattoos” by Swedish filmmaker of Armenian descent, Suzanne Khardalian, was screened at the Warwick Arts Centre cinema in association with the ERC Starting Grant Project “Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty” and Warwick’s Festival of Social Sciences. More information about the event is available here.


Contact Us

Diasporas and Contested Sovereignty (DcS)
University of Warwick
Department of Politics and International Studies
Social Sciences Building
Coventry CV4 7AL
Tel: +44 (0)24 765 24632
Email: info.diasporacontest[at]