The 2020 UN Security Council (SC) elections concluded during a historical period defined by the global COVID-19 pandemic. As officials scrambled to organise a socially distanced election, the final stage of the campaigns was forced into the digital realm. To bolster candidate states’ chances of being elected to the SC, digital diplomacy became the primary mode of communication. Here we focus on the SC campaigns of Canada, Ireland and Kenya, which were defined by ‘digital celebrity diplomacy’. U2 and Celine Dion supported the national campaigns of Ireland and Canada, while Kenya drew on the recognition of a number of celebrity athletes to bolster its campaign’s national brand. Thus, we explore the convergence of celebrity and digital diplomacy in these SC campaigns, contributing to new understandings of the use of celebrity in transforming the projection and reception of strategic narratives when integrated with digital diplomacy during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Foregrounding fluid processes of group identity re/formation, this article advances the debates on the nature of collective mobilisation among diasporas. Specifically, it contributes to a relatively underexplored diaspora studies sub-field: the role of religion in diasporic identity formation. Empirical material from the immigrant group Muslims of Sri Lankan origin in the United Kingdom indicates that religious identities play a key role in the process of formation of political identities and framing under the concept of one ummah. Further, critical events and crisis situations in places of origin mobilise these groups to form social and solidarity movements. This article contributes to ongoing debates on the constructivist approach to diaspora engagement, which goes beyond the conventional ways of understanding diasporas as ‘dispersed victims’. To this end, I argue that the diasporic characteristics are contingent upon the collective experience and embodiment of crisis situations at home and host sites.
This article focuses on the quest for digitalisation in peace mediation and to the extent to which digital disruption is reshaping its practices. While digitalisation in the wider field of diplomacy has seen dramatic changes in its practices, peace mediation is a ‘latecomer’. The article explores the constitutive effects on specific norms and practices of peace mediation and identifies opportunities as well as the restraining and even counterproductive effects of digitalisation. Digital technologies, tools and social media platforms are mapped to assess their roles and impact on key practices and to critically analyse the digitalisation of peace mediation. Moreover, a content analysis of international strategic policy documents and central frameworks relevant for international peacebuilding operations is conducted, which shows that digitalisation has taken place gradually and cautiously. Since there are few theoretical and empirical studies on the digitalisation of peace mediation, the article concludes by suggesting three directions to be taken in future research.
This paper explores the narratives and counter-narratives of indenture experience in Fiji in the works of Totaram Sanadhya, John Wear Burton, Kenneth Gillion, Brij Lal and Satish Rai. The recruitment of Indian indentured labourers in Fiji began in 1879, much later than in other colonies. Yet the experiences of the labourers in Fiji were not markedly different. The indenture system, or girmit, was considered better than the slave trade, while others regarded it as only a change in name, with regulations to safeguard the colonial interest. The above authors have shown that, from the onset, the recruitment process, the passage from India to Fiji, life on the plantations and the coolie lines, and life after indenture were a duality: either emancipation or victimisation of Indian labourers. This paper highlights the dual nature of the indenture experience in Fiji.
Applying a postcolonial diaspora lens through Homi K. Bhabha’s theory of the ‘third space’ to Bharati Mukherjee’s novel Jasmine (1989), this paper aims to demonstrate how diasporic women negotiate for an identity in their struggle for a better life in the host land. Having ‘no home’ and ‘no host’, Mukherjee’s protagonist, Jasmine, whose life represents that of the postcolonial immigrant woman, finds an identity in the intercultural process, the ‘third space’. A discourse analysis of this novel and current knowledge of diaspora studies are applied to understanding immigrants’ challenges, postcolonial identity and diaspora-related cultural issues. The paper closely examines cultural hybridity, third space and women’s search for identity in these confrontations. It throws light on a widow’s life and how she tries to get away from the restrictions of home and redesign her identity in a third space in the context of feminism, diaspora and culture in a postcolonial and diasporic world.