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Diasporas and Public Diplomacy: Distinctions and Future Prospects

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
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  • 1 Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington UniversityWashington, DC 20052United States
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Summary

Diaspora diplomacy encompasses diasporas as: agents in their own right; instruments of other’s diplomatic agendas; and/or intentional or accidental partners with other actors pursuing shared interests. Diaspora diplomacy is not territorially bound, and agendas are fluid. Three important features of diaspora diplomacy distinguish it from public diplomacy more generally. First, the diaspora identity results in specific applications of diplomacy for which diasporans may play a unique role. Second, diasporans’ responses to global crises of identity and inequity yield particular motivations and targets of engagement. Third, diasporans may have an in-between advantage for public diplomacy. The complexity of diaspora diplomacy is likely to increase because of circular migration, layered identities, and continued improvements and access to telecommunications. Researchers and policy-makers should focus attention on how to integrate diasporas into existing efforts to account for the complexity of transnational relations.

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