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Conflict Transportation in Diasporic Space: A Study of Lebanese Communities in Senegal and the United States

Pinkard, Octavius (2022) Conflict Transportation in Diasporic Space: A Study of Lebanese Communities in Senegal and the United States. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.101904) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:101904)

Language: English

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This thesis seeks to advance the current scholarship on conflict transportation from the homeland to the diaspora. Focusing on the Lebanese diaspora in Dearborn, Michigan and Dakar, Senegal, it analyzes the interplay between endogenous (host state) and exogenous (homeland) conditions to determine how these factors affect group interaction. The thesis argues that socioeconomic and political conditions in the country of settlement have helped to mitigate tensions between constituent communities of the diaspora and thus prevent the importation of conflict from the homeland. Factors contributing to these dynamics include the internal features of the diaspora; the migratory trajectory of its members; mode of immigrant incorporation; political and discursive opportunity structures; and the economic opportunity structure. This thesis further argues that the absence of conflict transportation in both Dearborn and Dakar results, in part, from the framing strategies undertaken by diaspora leaders in these respective locales. They consciously framed homeland events in such a way as to forestall rather than incite physical violence, discursive confrontation and spatial separation (mutual avoidance) within the diaspora community. In the Senegalese context, the thesis explains how reactive transnationalism, which developed in response to discrimination during the colonial and early post-colonial eras, drove disparate Lebanese communities to coalesce as a single ethnic group, thus helping to preclude a replication of the core conflict that defines group relations in the homeland. This thesis introduces a new concept (legacy mobilization) to explain the strategies employed by the Lebanese diaspora in Dearborn to build a cohesive community while simultaneously protecting that community from the antagonistic frame of the homeland. This thesis is also among the first to utilize a comparative study of alternative settlement sites (one in the Global South and the other in the Global North) to research relations within a single diaspora community.

The arguments that this thesis makes are based predominantly on empirical research that was undertaken across Lebanon and in Dakar and the Dearborn area. This fieldwork included interviews with clergy, journalists, university students, officials from political parties, representatives from Lebanese civil society organizations and a range of both citizens of Lebanon and diaspora members in Dearborn and Dakar. The study contributes to the scholarship by addressing key themes that are largely understudied in the literature, such as conflict within diaspora communities, the impact of host society conditions on diaspora relations, and the role of homeland events at shaping diaspora consciousness and mobilization.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Klekowski von Koppenfels, Amanda
Thesis advisor: Guichaoua, Yvan
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.101904
Uncontrolled keywords: Lebanese Diaspora, Identity Mobilisation, Ethnic Conflict, Diaspora Politics
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2023 13:13 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2023 10:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Pinkard, Octavius.

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