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    Gamlen, Alan Cummings, Michael E. and Vaaler, Paul M. 2017. Explaining the rise of diaspora institutions. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, p. 1.

    Abramson, Yehonatan 2017. Securing the diasporic ‘self’ by travelling abroad: Taglit-Birthright and ontological security. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, p. 1.

    Orjuela, Camilla 2018. Mobilising diasporas for justice. Opportunity structures and the presencing of a violent past. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol. 44, Issue. 8, p. 1357.

    Tsourapas, Gerasimos 2018. Theorizing state-diaspora relations in the Middle East: Authoritarian emigration states in comparative perspective. Mediterranean Politics, p. 1.

    Tebble, Adam James 2019. ‘More open borders and deep structural transformation’. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, p. 1.

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Book description

Over half the world lives under authoritarian regimes. For these people, the opportunity to engage in politics moves outside the state's territory. Mobilising across borders, diasporas emerge to challenge such governments. This book offers an in-depth examination of the internal politics of transnational mobilisation. Studying Rwandan and Zimbabwean exiles, it exposes the power, interests, and unexpected agendas behind mobilisation, revealing the surprising and ambivalent role played by outsiders. Far from being passive victims waiting for humanitarian assistance, refugees engage actively in political struggle. From Rwandans resisting their repatriation, to Zimbabweans preventing arms shipments, political exiles have diverse aims and tactics. Conversely, the governments they face also deploy a range of transnational strategies, and those that purport to help them often do so with hidden agendas. This shifting political landscape reveals the centrality of transnationalism within global politics, the historical and political contingency of diasporas, and the precarious agency of refugees.


‘This book is not only a politically astute and highly readable analysis of the life and death of the Zimbabwean and Rwandan diasporas, but also a significant theoretical contribution to the study of transnational politics.'

Rita Abrahamsen - University of Ottawa

‘Alexander Betts and Will Jones have made a major contribution to our understanding of how diaspora mobilisation works. Their analysis of the role of ‘animators' and their detailed case studies of Rwandan and Zimbabwean diaspora politics significantly extend and enrich existing theories of diaspora engagement, refugee politics and transnationalism.'

Fiona Adamson - School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

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