Four Types of Diaspora Mobilization: Albanian Diaspora Activism for Kosovo Independence in the U.S. and the UK
Maria Koinova, Visiting Research Scholar, Center for European Studies, Harvard University and Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam
This comparative study explores the conditions and causal pathways through which conflict-generated diasporas become moderate or radical actors when linked to homelands experiencing limited sovereignty. Situated at the nexus of scholarship on diasporas and conflict, ethnic lobbying in foreign policy, and transnationalism this article develops four types of diaspora political mobilization – radical (strong and weak) and moderate (strong and weak) – and unpacks the causal pathways that lead to these four types in different political contexts. I argue that dynamics in the original homeland drive the overall trend towards radicalism or moderation of diaspora mobilization in a host-land: high levels of violence are associated with radicalism, and low levels with moderation. Nevertheless, how diaspora mobilization takes place is a result of the conjuncture of the level of violence with two other variables: diaspora linkages to a strategic center in the homeland, and accessibility of a strategic center to influence host-state support for the sovereignty goal. The article uses observations from the Albanian diaspora mobilization in the US and the UK prior to Kosovo's 2008 proclaimed independence, and from periods of contested sovereignty prior to and in the aftermath of NATO's 1999 military intervention in Kosovo.
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