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Call for Papers 



12 June 2024
Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
Durham University

In the contemporary landscape of global conflicts, the recognition of diasporas as pivotal stakeholders has gained significant traction, exemplified by the works of Geukjian (2014), Probst (2016:2), and Shain (2002). This heightened acknowledgment of the crucial role of diasporas in present-day world politics has spurred intensified scrutiny. A burgeoning body of scholarly literature has emerged, delving into their multifaceted roles, encompassing contributions to peace processes, post-conflict development, and mediation between homeland actors and external entities, as elucidated by Baser & Swain (2008), Cohen (2008), and Pande (2017:5). Departing from earlier depictions as victims or passive onlookers, diasporas are increasingly acknowledged as active agents, a transformation underscored by academia, NGOs, and influential political figures in both host and homeland contexts. As noted by Cohen (1996) two decades ago, marginalized individuals of the past have evolved into vocal challengers of established political systems on both domestic and international fronts. In the ongoing discourse surrounding migration and refugee concerns, the significance of diasporas is poised to remain a focal point, receiving sustained attention in the years to come.

The Middle Eastern diasporas, constituting the most prominent global migration movements of the 20th century, embody a complex fusion of voluntary labor migration and involuntary displacement stemming from conflicts, notably pronounced in the latter part of the century due to inter- and intra-ethnic strife. The migrations from nations such as Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Palestine intricately intertwine with societal and political dynamics in these regions. Consequently, Middle Eastern diasporas exhibit an array of engagements with homeland affairs, originating from both voluntary migrations and those compelled by conflict. The persistent state of insecurity and crisis in the Middle East perpetuates these migratory patterns, continually rejuvenating diaspora communities with each subsequent calamity or conflict.

We invite scholars, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to participate in the upcoming conference on "Diasporas from the Middle East: Agency and Impact on Global Politics." This international conference aims to bring together diverse perspectives on the role of Middle Eastern diasporas in shaping global politics, exploring their agency, engagement, and consequential impact on various aspects of international affairs. The conference will encompass a range of themes, including transnational political agency, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, cultural identity and political mobilization, host country policies and implications, media, technology, and advocacy, homeland development and investment, gender dynamics in diaspora politics, and case studies with comparative analyses. By delving into these themes, the conference aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of how Middle Eastern diasporas contribute to and transform the global political landscape.


Potential topics could include:

  • Transnational Political Activism of Middle Eastern Diasporas
  • Role of Diasporas in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
  • Political Mobilization and Advocacy Networks in Diaspora Communities
  • Diaspora Engagement in Homeland Development Initiatives
  • Identity Preservation and Transformation in Diaspora Contexts
  • Host Country Policies and Impact on Diaspora Political Activities
  • Influence of Middle Eastern Diasporas on Host Country Politics
  • Media and Communication Strategies of Diaspora Political Engagement
  • Diasporas as Agents of Change: Case Studies and Comparative Analysis
  • Political Remittances and Electoral Participation in Homeland Affairs
  • Role of Technology and social media in Diaspora Political Mobilization
  • Interactions between Middle Eastern Diasporas and Other Global Diaspora Communities
  • Gender Dynamics in Diaspora Political Participation
  • Future Trends and Prospects in Middle Eastern Diaspora Political Impact


Submission Guidelines:

We welcome abstract submissions (250-300 words) for individual paper presentations, panel proposals, and workshops related to the conference themes. Submissions should include a title, author(s) details, institutional affiliation, and a brief biography.

Abstracts should be sent to Dr Bahar Baser by 18:00 on  17th February 2024 at


Important Dates:

Abstract Submission Deadline: 17th February 2024
Notification of Acceptance: 8th March 2024
Confirmation Registration Deadline: 12th April 2024
Conference Dates: 12th June 2024


Conference Format:

The conference will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities, facilitating interdisciplinary dialogue among scholars, practitioners, and policymakers.



A limited number of stipends are available. Preference will be given to PHD students and Early Career Researchers. These stipends cover in part travel costs and accommodation.


Publication Opportunities:

Selected papers presented at the conference will have the opportunity to be considered for publication in a special issue of a renowned academic journal or an edited volume with a  University Press.



The conference will be hosted in the Al Qasimi Building, Durham University.

For inquiries and submission of abstracts, please contact


We look forward to your contributions to this dynamic conference that seeks to enrich our understanding of the agency and impact of Middle Eastern diasporas on the global political stage.