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65765-01 - Seminar: Diaspora Politics in International Relations 3 CP

Semester fall semester 2022
Course frequency Once only
Lecturers Julie Bernath (julie.bernath@unibas.ch, Assessor)
Content Diaspora communities are routinely seen as an illustration of the deep cross-border connections that characterise our contemporary globalised world. Their existence unsettles traditional conceptions of political and social life organised around notions of ‘inside’ vs. ‘outside’, as well as traditional understandings of the state, national identity, or sovereignty. As such, diasporas have captured the imagination of scholars from multiple disciplines. Diaspora communities have also become coveted by policymakers and civil society actors as partners in development or peacebuilding projects; yet at the same time they are also scrutinised with suspicion as transporting conflicts beyond borders, as disrupting peace processes or as entertaining long-distance nationalism.
This seminar examines diaspora politics as transnational processes in world politics. It will be organised in three main parts. First, we will start with definitional debates on diaspora. How does this analytical concept relate to other concepts such as citizens, migrants, expats, or refugees? Can we define diaspora based on a selected list of criteria, or do diasporas only come into existence as a process, through political mobilisation? And what are the implications of these definitions for the study of international relations? In this first part of the seminar, we will also engage with gendering diaspora; decolonial approaches to the study of diaspora politics; and methodological and ethical questions that arise when researching diaspora politics. Second, we will move to an analysis of diaspora as transnational political actors. What factors influence diaspora mobilisation in and across host country contexts, over time, spaces and across generations? How does diaspora mobilisation unfold in contexts of authoritarianism? How do digital technologies shape diaspora mobilisation? Finally, we will look at diaspora politics from the perspective of critical peace and conflict studies. A range of empirical examples will provide a differentiated overview of the various roles of diaspora groups in homeland conflicts and peacebuilding initiatives, including transitional justice processes. This will take us beyond binary narratives of diaspora groups as either ‘peace-makers’ or ‘peace-wreckers’. We will also critically reflect upon the different ways in which policy makers and various actors in the field of civilian peacebuilding have increasingly tried to engage with diaspora groups.
Throughout the seminar, we will draw on case studies from various contexts to animate our conceptual, theoretical, and methodological discussions.
Learning objectives By the end of the seminar, students should be able to:
- discuss competing academic definitions of diaspora, their implications for research on diaspora politics and the study of international relations;
- discern ethical challenges and the implications of methodological choices for conducting research on diaspora politics;
- understand different approaches that help to explain and analyse diaspora mobilisation;
- have a differentiated understanding of the various roles that diaspora play in peacebuilding through an overview of contemporary research at the intersection of critical peace and conflict studies and diaspora studies;
- reflect critically upon how policymakers and other actors in the field of civilian peacebuilding engage with diaspora groups in (post-)conflict settings.
Comments Attention:
All Seminars will be graded in the Department of Political Science.
Grading scale 6.0 to 1.0, whereupon 4.0 is a pass.
The number of participants is limited. The places are assigned according to date of enrollment and subject of study. Priority will be given to students of Political Science.

 

Admission requirements Attention:
All Seminars will be graded in the Department of Political Science.
Grading scale 6.0 to 1.0, whereupon 4.0 is a pass.
The number of participants is limited. The places are assigned according to date of enrollment and subject of study. Priority will be given to students of Political Science.
Language of instruction English
Use of digital media No specific media used

 

Interval weekly
Date 19.09.2022 – 12.12.2022
Time Monday, 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Date Time Room
Monday 19.09.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 26.09.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 03.10.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 10.10.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 17.10.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 24.10.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 31.10.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 07.11.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 14.11.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 21.11.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 28.11.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 05.12.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Monday 12.12.2022 10.15-11.45 Kollegienhaus, Seminarraum 212
Modules Modul: Regionaler Fokus M.A. (Master's degree subject Political Science)
Modul: Vertiefung Politikwissenschaft M.A. (Master's degree subject Political Science)
Module: Migration, Mobility and Transnationalism (Master's degree program Changing Societies: Migration – Conflicts – Resources)
Assessment format continuous assessment
Assessment details The course relies upon a very high level of active participation. It will make use of various interactive formats (e.g. debate clubs). Everyone is expected to have done the mandatory readings and to participate in the discussions. Each student will prepare one main presentation on a selected topic. After each presentation, we will also have a rotating discussant to critically reflect upon the presentation, raise questions and facilitate the discussion.
Each student will therefore be assessed based on the quality of their presentation, their performance as a discussant, and their overall participation as an active member of the course who regularly makes contributions and asks questions that bring the conversation forward.
Assessment registration/deregistration Reg.: course registration; dereg.: not required
Repeat examination no repeat examination
Scale 1-6 0,5
Repeated registration no repetition
Responsible faculty Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, studadmin-philhist@unibas.ch
Offered by Fachbereich Politikwissenschaft

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