The social construction of diasporas: conceptual development and the Rwandan case

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch

In this chapter, the author deals with how moral attributes are assigned to particular diasporas or parts of a diaspora, developing his argument both conceptually and with respect to the Rwandan government's construction of diaspora. The Rwandan government does what it can to attract investments and encourage return migration of those abroad who are believed to be supportive of the regime (its 'positive diaspora'). It also actively works on its so-called 'negative diaspora'; those Hutu who fled with the old regime and allegedly resent the present regime. Glenn Bowman argues that Palestine became an 'empty signifier' that was so open and vaguely defined that it managed to encompass all the troubles and tribulations of a diverse, dispersed and heterogeneous population. The Rwandan government's attempts to control the diaspora through such social categorizations never fully succeeds, as certain groups remain hostile and resist its attempts to 'rein them in'.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Diaspora Studies
EditorsRobin Cohen, Carolin Fischer
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Publication dateSep 2018
Pages40-47
Chapter4
ISBN (Electronic)9781351805506
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

ID: 215231012