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Diasporas, Development and Peacemaking in the Horn of Africa

Diasporas, Development and Peacemaking in the Horn of Africa

Liisa Laakso | Petri Hautaniemi


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Exiled populations, who increasingly refer to themselves as diaspora communities, hold a strong stake in the fate of their countries of origin. In a world becoming ever more interconnected, they engage in 'long-distance politics' towards, send financial remittances to and support social development in their homelands. Transnational diaspora networks have thus become global forces shaping the relationship between countries, regions and continents. This important intervention, written by scholars working at the cutting edge of diaspora and conflict, challenges the conventional wisdom that diaspora are all too often warmongers, their time abroad causing them to become more militant in their engagement with local affairs. Rather, they can and should be a force for good in bringing peace to their home countries. Featuring in-depth case studies from the Horn of Africa, including Somalia and Ethiopia, this volume presents an essential rethinking of a key issue in African politics and development.
'The enriching volume presents a stimulating overview of the varied positions that members of diasporas hold – such as peacebuilders, investors and civic members – as well as extant gaps related to the study of diasporas, including theoretical frameworks and host country institutional incorporation and engagement.' Africa at LSE 'This collection successfully translates the nebulous term "diaspora" into precise human and policy terms. The case studies by African and European scholars generate new insights into both the potential and the limitations of "diaspora engagement" policies. The authors' clear conceptual and empirical analyses focus on the dynamic linkages between migrants from the Horn of Africa and Europe. These studies will be of value to students of migration, development and conflict, and the findings should inform donors as well as European and African policy-makers.' David Styan, Birkbeck College 'This nuanced collection both identifies and transcends a theoretical vacuum in international and regional relations: how varieties of transnational communities or networks contribute to multilevel governance in a trio of somewhat fragile states in the Horn of Africa. Its comparative analyses of diasporas, religions and remittances go beyond realism and romanticism to juxtapose and advance conflict, development, migration and security studies in a way which resonates far beyond Africa and Europe.' Professor Timothy M. Shaw, University of Massachusetts Boston 'This carefully crafted collection not only provides a novel insight into the role of diaspora networks in the Horn of Africa and various European host countries, it is also a highly valuable contribution to the field of peace and conflict studies in general, as it lays out the case for a more nuanced approach to the role of diaspora networks in the process of both crafting peace and sustaining wars. As such it is highly recommended.' Professor Morten Bøås, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs 'While focused on the Horn of Africa, this volume has relevance far beyond that region, as increasing scholarly and policy attention focuses on the developmental role of diaspora and migration. It draws together an impressive array of experts in the region and its diaspora, and adds complexity and nuance to contemporary debates of great significance in our transnational times.' Dr Neil Carrier, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford
Liisa Laakso is professor and dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. Previously she held the UNESCO Chair in Development and International Cooperation at the University of Jyväskylä. Petri Hautaniemi is a former senior researcher in development studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. His dissertation in social anthropology was on Somali child migration and young men, and he has published a number of articles on related themes.He currently works as a senior adviser in the Department of Development Policy at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Front cover Front cover
Africa Now i
About the editors ii
Title Page iii
Copyright iv
Contents v
Acknowledgements vii
Introduction: Diasporas for peace and development 1
Arguments for and against in migration studies 3
The book 5
References 9
PART ONE Contextualizing the Horn of Africa and the diaspora 11
1 Diaspora and multi-level governance for peace 13
Multi-level governance 14
Recognition of African diaspora 16
Interaction with diaspora 17
The question of representation 21
Conclusions 23
References 25
Interviews 26
2 Regional political history and the production of diasporas 28
Introduction 28
Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea 31
Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Kenya 34
Notes 45
References 46
PART TWO Case studies from the Horn of Africa 51
3 Rebuilding Somaliland through economic and educational engagement 53
Introduction 53
A short note on Somaliland’s peacebuilding processes 55
Challenges to diaspora investments and sustainable peace in Somaliland 68
Conclusion 71
Notes 73
References 75
4 The Somali diaspora in conflict and peacebuilding: the Peace Initiative Programme 77
Introduction 77
Political, economic and social restrictions in the home country on diaspora involvement 80
Linking the host country and the home country 81
Differing attitudes towards homeland engagement among first- and second-generation diaspora 82
The negative role of diaspora 84
The positive role of diaspora 89
Challenges to diaspora involvement 91
Conclusions 94
Notes 95
References 96
5 The 2007 delegation of the Muslim diaspora to Ethiopia 98
Introduction 98
The homeland scene: religious groups and the Ethiopian state 100
The delegation and its activities 106
Conclusion 117
Notes 118
References 120
6 The Ethiopian diaspora and the Tigray Development Association 122
Introduction 122
Perspectives on peacebuilding and development 122
The Ethiopian diaspora in historical perspective 126
The Ethiopian socio-political context and implications 132
The role of the Ethiopian diaspora in peacebuilding and conflict 134
The Tigray Development Association 136
Conclusion 155
Notes 157
References 159
PART THREE European approaches to diaspora engagement 163
7 Interaction between Somali organizations and Italian and Finnish development actors 165
Engaging diasporas for peace and development: a dynamic approach 165
Theoretical reflections and definitions 166
Comparing the contexts: different opportunities for the Somali diaspora 167
Diaspora engagement dynamics in Italy and Finland 171
Mechanisms and processes of interaction 173
Concluding remarks 183
Notes 184
References 186
Websites 189
8 Approaches to diaspora engagement in the Netherlands 190
Introduction 190
Diasporas as partners in development and peacebuilding 192
The Dutch setting for diaspora engagement 195
Diaspora engagement practices 198
Conclusion 204
Notes 206
References 206
9 Norwegian collaboration with diasporas 210
Introduction 210
The rise of ‘diasporas’ 210
Stakeholders on paper 212
A challenge in practice 215
Capacity-building needs 215
Incompatible differences? 217
A biased and fragmented actor 219
Concluding remarks 220
Notes 222
References 223
Afterword 225
About the contributors 228
Index 231
Back cover Back cover