2922) Diasporas & Post-Conflict Societies: Conflict Entrepreneurs, Competing Interests, Or Contributors To Stability & Development?

April 22, 2009
Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff
Associate Professor, Public Administration & International Affairs, George Washington University

Paper presented at:
Global Effects and Local Dynamics of Intrastate Conflicts
International Workshop sponsored by The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and RSAND/GATI Research Group The Center for Advanced Study of International Development, Michigan State University, Jerusalem, Israel May 17-19, 2009 . .

Worldwide, conflicts abound1 and OECD member countries are spending billions of dollars for post-conflict reconstruction and development.2 These conflicts produce many refugees and are the cause for much migration.3 But what are the consequences of this migration, elective or otherwise, for post-conflict stability and development? Are diasporas conflict entrepreneurs, seeking to stimulate, support, and sustain the conflict in their homelands? Are they an additional competing interest in the reconstruction of war-torn societies, further complicating legitimacy and political compromises? Or are they contributors to stability, sustained peace, and development?

Several studies have examined the role of organized diasporas in promoting policy and regime change in their home territories (see, for example, Byman et al. 2001; King and Melvin 1999/2000; Cohen 1996). Nationalist and/or factionalist interests do not necessarily translate into destructive contributions. The very affinity that may result in supporting conflict, also lends itself to reconstruction and development. Well beyond their often-cited remittances, diasporas contribute to development (Iskander 2008), human rights advocacy and the promotion of good. . .
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Diasporas And Post-Conflict Societies Conflict Entrepreneurs, Competing Interests, Or Contributors To Stability And Development .


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