Politics from Afar

Transnational Diasporas and Networks

Edited by
April 2012 9781849041751 288pp
Temporarily out of stock
April 2012 9781849041850 288pp


More than ever, diasporas have a direct impact on the politics of their homelands. Today’s diasporic activists — empowered by new media and the ease of travel afforded by globalisation — engage directly to shape elections and conflicts in distant settings: politics from afar. Drawing on a global range of cases, this groundbreaking volume explores the impact of transnational diaspora politics on development, democratisation, conflict, and the changing nature of citizenship.

The contributors to this collection, representing a variety of disciplinary perspectives and area studies expertise, reveal the diasporic politics shaping the governance of development in Mexico, conflict in Sri Lanka, and elections in Ethiopia among other timely cases. While some predicted that globalisation would usher in a new era of cosmopolitanism, Politics from Afar demonstrates that ethno-nationalism and patron-client relationships are alive and thriving in transnational spaces. Cognisant of the political capital residing in diasporas, homeland governments, opposition political parties, and insurgent groups seek to tap ‘their’ co-nationals abroad to advance development strategies and broader geopolitical agendas.

Politics from Afar maps an ambitious theoretical and empirical agenda for the analysis of contemporary diaspora politics.


‘This is the most lucid and convincing work that I have seen explaining an increasingly important aspect of globalisation: the impact of migrant communities and diasporas on their home states. The volume is impressive in its coverage — from remittances through war and peace to identity and citizenship — drawing on examples from around the world, and bringing together leading experts from a range of disciplines.’ — Khalid Koser, Head of the New Issues in Security Programme, Geneva Centre for Security Policy

‘An insightful and extremely useful look into the relationship between global migration and transnational politics which takes transnational activism, the enduring power of the nation-state, and source and destination countries seriously, and shows us how they work around the world.’ — Peggy Levitt, author of God Needs No Passport

Politics from Afar makes an important contribution to the literature in diaspora politics. In particular, the books illustrates the importance of diaspora politics while also outlining some of the limitations of that influence.’ —  H-Net Reviews in Humanities & Social Sciences



Peter Mandaville is Associate Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs and Co-Director of George Mason University’s Center for Global Studies. He is most recently the author of Global Political Islam. His current research interests include Islam and globalisation, theories of cosmopolitanism, and global development.

Terrence Lyons is Assistant Professor in Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. Among his publications are Demilitarizing Politics: Elections on the Uncertain Road to Peace.

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