The comparison between the Greek and the Armenian diasporas, which are among the oldest ones, ought to contribute to the progress of the theoretical discussion around the relevance of the notion of diaspora examined through some themes which seem to cover all meanings and interpretations: the States logics and the organization of migratory spaces, the minority and the ethnic facts, the territorialization-deterritorialization couple, the shaping of a social link within dispersion. Pointing out the morphological characteristics in migratory space, through the multi-polarity of the relationships with the original country and the inter-polarity with the different migratory poles, by showing a construction of the exchanges on the transnational scale, the comparative perspective will consist of noting down structural similarities between those two diasporas, in order to establish the coherence of the notion and its justification in the social reality.
The study of these diasporas brings about some elements of scientific reflection on the question the transformation of identity, or even of the identity crisis in Europe if such be the case. It is true that the notion of diaspora causes the convergence of a good number of contemporary questions linked to the upsetting of national order, to the fragmentation of identities and to the waning of the model of the Welfare Nation-State which questions, within Europe, the concepts of intense "social closing" such as those of nationality and citizenship.
Through the studies on the Greek and Armenian diasporas some forms of collective allegiances and intern logics will be shown to exist, which have been elaborated parallel to the acquaintance with norms and values conveyed by citizenship. There do exist modes of "acting together" which do not engender any tensions between the singular reference (the construction of the community) and the reference to the model of republican integration in France or to the values of citizenship in the Nation- States in Europe. Unlike some other groups born of more recent migrations, these can represent integration models whose success is not only due to the acceptation of norms and values of host - societies, but also to the construction of transnational religious and/or cultural "communities", providing a socio-historical anchorage which contributes to a better cohesiveness of the European space. The historical distance which analysis of these two ancient diasporas provides can help to understand and apprehend dynamics which characterize or are likely to characterize more recent groups of migrants (North-African, Asiatic) less well integrated and not yet truly structured into diasporas.
The symposium "Armenians and Greeks in diaspora, comparative approaches" aims at allowing the meeting of two pluridisciplinary scientific communities, mostly European ones, which up till now have worked on identical themes separately and without developing any contacts between them. The research on the Armenian diaspora are older and richer than those on the Greek diaspora. Researchers working on this diaspora have a slightly more limited and recent experience ; thus they can draw benefits from the contact with Armenian researchers. The Symposium plans the participation (after a selection) of about forty young researchers of different nationalities who will benefit from the lectures" presenting the latest progress (state of knowledge). The fact that this Symposium should be located in downtown Athens will enable young researchers, advanced students and researchers doing doctoral or post -doctoral studies to benefit from the experience of their elders working on the greek diaspora, but mostly of that of French, English and other researchers working on the Armenian diaspora whom they have never had or could never have the opportunity to meet otherwise.