CfP: Diaspora and Diplomacy – An International Conference

There is growing international recognition of the importance of linkages between diaspora and diplomacy. Some governments view diaspora as a soft power resource that extends nation-state capacities – ministries, institutions, and programmes have been created to engage diaspora as agents of diplomatic and development goals. At the same time, there is discordance about the value and impact of such engagement and little shared knowledge about the diverse ways in which diaspora are actively shaping arenas of social, economic and political development.


UCD Clinton Institute will host an international conference in Dublin that will bring together diplomatic actors, NGO representatives, scholars and a diverse range of diaspora agents to address global examples of diaspora diplomacy. We aim to combine policy, academia and practice by sharing knowledge and experience about diaspora engagement.

Topics may include (but are not confined to):

  • How do we theorise state-diaspora relations? How do they relate to broader changes in the global political economy? How do they impact on ideas and practices of citizenship and sovereignty?
  • What are the policy discourses that drive diaspora engagement? Are some policies becoming global models?
  • What is the role of diaspora in dealing with challenges of migration? How do diasporas influence our understanding of migration and borders?
  • Who are the key actors in diaspora diplomacy? What impact are they having on the meaning and nature of diplomacy?
  • What is the diplomatic role of diaspora in economic development, investment and entrepreneurship, knowledge and skills transfer, and philanthropy?
  • What is the diplomatic role of diaspora in cultural development, tourism, the promotion of national culture, and sport?
  • How do diaspora contribute to conflict transformation, humanitarian intervention, and post-crisis recovery?
  • How are (trans)national political concerns shaped by diasporas, via activism, voting and lobbying?
  • How can the impact and sustainability of diaspora engagement be measured?
  • How do diaspora communications, including digital platforms and tools, mediate diplomatic activity?

Plenary speakers include: Corneliu Bjola (Oxford University), Nicholas Cull (University of Southern California), Laura Hammond (SOAS, London), Elaine Ho (National University of Singapore).

We invite proposals for individual papers of 20 minutes duration. Please submit the paper title, an abstract of 300 words, a short bio and contact details. We also welcome applications for full panels of 3-4 papers. The deadline for paper and panel proposals is 1st March 2018.

For further details, please contact Catherine Carey at UCD Clinton Institute:; tel. ++353 1 716 1560