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Diaspora, Home-State Governance and Transnational Political Mobilisation: A Comparative Case Analysis of Ethiopia and Kenya’s State Policy Towards their Diaspora

Kennedy Ebang Njikang

Abstract

Aligned to studies that have established that state-diaspora engagement policies consist of a diversity of measures associated with different aims, this study provides a novel approach to such research. It involves investigating how leadership (through diaspora policies) is structured using language to ensure that the objectives of state-diaspora policies are persuasive enough to draw consensual support from the diaspora. Adopting a rhetorical analysis of multi-case data, this paper compares how the notion of diaspora is used within Ethiopia and Kenya’s state-diaspora policy documents and how their understanding of their diaspora shapes the actual political mobilisation of it. The paper demonstrates that by selecting certain themes and by treating diaspora as a powerful strategy, either by segregating it from or including it in the political activities of a nation, domestic governments can strongly influence the political narrative.  Results further show that when the diaspora faces state power not all categories of it are equally accepted or offered the same political rights.

 

Keywords

state and diaspora; policies; citizenship; political participation

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