Poor countries are often plagued by civil wars. They are also, in many cases, emigration countries. Anybody interested in the development of such countries must understand to what extent these phenomena are interrelated, and how they interplay with each other. If it is pretty clear that civil wars push people to leave the country, it remains understudied how diasporas play a role in the emergence and evolution of violent conflicts.
Indeed, the interactions between diasporas and conflict have roughly been overlooked by the economic literature to date, in spite of the very suggestive pieces of evidence provided by related research fields and of the very important policy questions that it raises – in particular, how to optimize the contribution of diasporas to peaceful development. Based on case studies such as those of Erytrea or of Sri Lanka, the literature in history and political science underlines diverse mechanisms through which diasporas have intervened in the evolution of violence in their home country, either as peace-builders or as peace-wreckers. On the other hand, in these case studies, the evolution of civil wars also appears to have been determinant of emigration and return migration patterns and, eventually, of the nature of diasporas’ involvement in the political situation in the homeland.
This project will investigate the joint dynamics of civil conflicts and migration in developing countries. It will first build a theoretical framework to characterize how diasporas and civil wars interact together, accounting for the endogeneity of both migration and violence. The theoretical predictions derived from this framework will then be empirically tested, relying on recent and original data. Through a multi-disciplinary perspective, nourished by the findings of the qualitative research and relying on economic tools – both theoretical and empirical – this project will allow to build the first comprehensive investigation of the diasporas – conflict nexus.
Fields of science
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