Ellie Mevel

Normandie Université (France), Department of Sociology

Staff Page: www.univ-rouen.fr

The Role of Diasporas in Statehood-seeking Conflicts: The Palestinian and Kurdish cases

My work focuses on the Kurdish and Palestinian diasporas in France. I am interested in the relationship between formal and informal structures and organizations that speak and act in the name of stateless diasporas and support the creation of a nation state.

Although it remains little studied, the internal dynamics in a conflict community is an essential aspect of deepening our understanding of civil wars. Fragmentation of stateless populations in a civil war context seems counter-intuitive in many ways. Indeed, conflict is costly in economic and human terms. The internal division can therefore minimize the chances for a conflicting party to achieve its objectives. However, the willingness of stateless populations to access territorial sovereignty implies in itself that there is a competition between actors to gain power.

On this basis, my research explores the factors that lead to alliance or confrontation between institutions representing the same warring community and how these relationships are perceived and reconsidered in the context of the diaspora.

Focusing on the Kurdish and Palestinian diasporas in France, I aim to understand, in the first instance, how institutions create a relational network in the diaspora, and secondly, to comprehend both collaboration and antagonism within that network.

Through analysis of the MAROB database (Minorities At Risk Organizational Behavior) and interviews with representatives of the various institutions within each diaspora, I hope to produce a substantiated answer to a complex question: to what extent does the specific context of diaspora minimize internal conflicts within the entire national community and to what extent does it represent a field of struggle for competitive organizations?