Modes and potential of diaspora engagement in Eritrea
Schmitz-Pranghe, Clara (2010). Modes and potential of diaspora engagement in Eritrea. University of Jyväskylä, Diaspeace Project. - (Diaspeace working paper. ISSN 1798-1689 ; No. 3).
Published inDiaspeace working paper
The involvement of Eritrean diaspora communities in conflict and post-conflict reconstruction in Eritrea dates back to the times of the struggle for independence. The transnational ties between the former liberation fronts and the Eritrean state have been very close ever since. This paper describes the modes and potential of diaspora engagement in Eritrea, focussing especially on recent developments in Eritrean diaspora communities worldwide since 2000. It seeks to describe the specific political, social and economic conditions in Eritrea that provide a framework for the engagement of exiled communities as well as Eritrean policies, which target specifically Eritrean communities abroad. It further aims to describe the various patterns of diaspora engagement in Eritrea, differentiating between individual and organised diaspora activities by tentatively taking into account the potential impacts of these activities on Eritrean society and policies. The focus of the analysis on the last decade is based on the assumption that the Ethio-Eritrean war (1998–2000) has had a major impact not only on civil society in Eritrea but also on organisational patterns among Eritrean diaspora communities. While the right of freedom to association in Eritrea has been further curtailed since 2001, the diaspora communities experienced diversification and the emergence of new civil society organisations following an increase in refugee movements. Further research is required to determine whether these developments in the diaspora communities affect Eritrean civil society and encourage the revitalisation of civil society organisations in Eritrea. The paper draws on the recent pertinent literature on Eritrean exile communities as well as on preliminary findings of the ongoing DIASPEACE research project. ...