DIASPEACE seeks to generate policy-relevant, evidence-based knowledge on how diasporas (exiled populations from conflict regions) play into the dynamics of conflict and peace in their countries of origin. In a globalised world diasporas have become new forces shaping the interactions between countries, regions and continents. On one hand, they are seen to fuel conflict by transferring remittances and logistic support to the warring parties, and to exacerbate tensions through radical mobilisation along ethnic and religious lines. One the other, diaspora groups are playing an increasingly prominent role in peace and reconciliation processes. There is a need for a balanced empirical account of the nature, motivations and impact of transnational diaspora activities in conflict settings. The project has an empirical focus on diaspora networks operating in Europe which extend their transnational activities to the Horn of Africa. This is a region where decades of violent conflict have resulted in state collapse and the dispersal of more than two million people. The project will conduct field research in seven European countries and in Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. DIASPEACE aims to: a) devise and test methodologies of multi-sited comparative research and to develop the conceptual framework for researching migrant political transnationalism in a conflict context; b) facilitate interaction between diaspora and other stakeholders in Europe and in the Horn of Africa; c) provide policy input on how to better involve diaspora in conflict resolution and peace-building interventions, and how to improve coherence between security, development and immigration policies. The consortium involves six partners from Europe and two from the Horn of Africa, bringing together cross-disciplinary expertise from the fields of Conflict Analysis, Migration Studies and Anthropology among others. The project is coordinated by the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.
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