The Politics of Engagement: Southeast Asian Diasporas in Relation to Home Countries
- Grażyna Szymańska-Matusiewicz University of Warsaw
- Helena Patzer Czech Academy of Science
- szymanskag (at) is.uw.edu.pl
- helenapatzer (at) wp.pl
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Diasporas originating from Southeast Asian countries form one of the largest mobile communities in the contemporary world, with the Filipino diaspora numbering at least 11 million, and the Vietnamese diaspora 4 million. While the phenomenon of migrant engagement in activities directed towards countries of origins have been long discussed in migration studies, the ongoing processes of transnationalization of migrant communities (Portes, Guarnizo, Landolt 1999), facilitated by the development of instant communication and digital platforms, provide a novel area for investigation. In our panel we would like to address the following question: how are the more ‘traditional’ areas of diasporic engagement addressed in the digital era?
By ‘traditional’ areas of diaspora activity, we mean:
- political activism, commonly directed towards changing the status quo in the country of origin (pro-democratic movement),
- economic engagement, involving a broad range of phenomena, such as investments and transnational entrepreneurship,
- social activism, of various degrees of institutionalization (from traditional “hometown associations” to development initiatives and digital activism).
In our panel we engage with presentations which focus on the above-mentioned phenomena, especially from a transnational or diasporic perspective, and are both research-informed and embedded in the theoretical perspective.