Deconstructing diasporic mobilisation at a time of crisis: perspectives from the Palestinian and Greek diasporas

2017-09-01T15:56:40Z (GMT) by Elizabeth Mavroudi
This paper focuses on the difficulties that diasporas face in relation to mobilising around helping the homeland at a time of crisis, using qualitative research on the Greek and Palestinian diasporas. Rather than assume that long-distance nationalism, emotional attachment to the homeland and diasporic obligation will galvanise diasporic populations into assisting, and mobilising around, the homeland, the paper argues that those in diasporas do not necessarily help their homelands in times of crisis, even if they have strong socio-cultural connections to it. At times of crisis these feelings are heightened but not do not always translate into direct action; this may especially be the case at times of prolonged crisis when past efforts to help do not seem to have worked. This paper argues that it is often hard for those in diaspora to find meaningful ways to help at a time of crisis and many question the effectiveness of their actions if they do not see positive outcomes over time. The paper demonstrates that trying to help the homeland can therefore be a frustrating process and can make those in diaspora feel distanced and isolated from the homeland due to their inability to find concrete ways to help.