In the first full-length scholarly study of the increasingly important phenomenon of digital diasporas, Jennifer M. Brinkerhoff examines how immigrants who still feel a connection to their country of origin use the Internet. She argues that digital diasporas can ease security concerns in both the homeland and the host society, improve diaspora members’ quality of life in the host society, and contribute to socio-economic development in the homeland. Drawing on case studies of nine digital diaspora organizations, Brinkerhoff’s research supplies new empirical material regarding digital diasporas and their potential security and development impacts. She also explores their impact on identity negotiation, arguing that digital diasporas create communities and organizations that represent hybrid identities and encourage solidarity, identity, and material benefits among their members. The book also explores these communities’ implications for policy and practice.
1. Introduction; 2. Diasporas, identity, and information technology; 3. Keeping the dream alive; 4. Digital diasporas as cyber-communities; 5. Digital diasporas and conflict prevention; 6. Policy agendas, human rights, and national sovereignty; 7. Helping the homeland; 8. Digital diasporas: a new avenue for peace and prosperity?
"...Brinkerhoff offers us the first thorough comparative study of diaspora groups on the Internet, allowing her to identify a number of important cross-cutting themes and findings...Brinkerhoff draws a number of important insights from her thorough analysis of online interactions, pointing out, for example, the ways in which members of religious minorities often persecuted in the homeland can, from the liberating position of diaspora and through the anonymity afforded by the Internet, openly claim an identity an identity previously denied to them (p. 65)."
Perspectives on Politics, Peter Mandaville, George Mason University