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Transnational Communities Programme

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Global Diasporas
UCL Press/Routledge (Taylor & Francis Ltd)

General Editor: Professor Robin Cohen, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK

The assumption that minorities and migrants will demonstrate an exclusive loyalty to the nation-state is now questionable. Scholars of nationalism, international migration and ethnic relations need new conceptual maps and fresh case studies to understand the growth of complex transnational identities. The old idea of "diaspora" may provide this framework. Though often conceived in terms of a catastrophic dispersion, widening the notion of diaspora to include trade, imperial, labour and cultural diasporas can provide a more nuanced understanding of the often positive relationships between migrants’ homelands and their places of work and settlement.

This is an ambitious and interlinked series of volumes trying to capture the new relationships between home and abroad. Historians, political scientists, sociologists and anthropologists from a number of countries have collaborated on this forward-looking project. Two books providing the defining, comparative and synoptic aspects of diasporas, while over fifteen further titles are planned. These will look both at traditionally recognized diasporas and those newer claimants who define their collective experiences and aspirations in terms of a diasporic identity.

Guidance notes are available for those wishing to prepare a book proposal for the series.

The series will conclude with a comprehensive study guide, under the title Transnational communities: a bibliographical guide (R. Cohen et al eds.). An interim and shorter online version of this, with periodic updates, Is available on this website.

Series no. 1 Global diasporas: An introduction
Series no. 2 New diasporas: The mass exodus, dispersal and regrouping of migrant communities
Series no. 3 The Sikh diaspora: The politics of homeland
Series no. 4 Italy's Many Diasporas
Series no. 5 The Hindu Diaspora: Comparative Patterns

Global Diasporas
An introduction

Robin Cohen University of Warwick, UK

What is a diaspora? For the Greeks, from whose language the word originated, diaspora meant the dispersal of population through colonization. For Jews, Africans and Armenians and other peoples the word acquired a more sinister and brutal meaning. Diaspora meant a collective trauma, a banishment into exile and a heart-aching longing to return home. During the early modern period, trade and labour diasporas girded the mercantilist and early capitalist worlds. Today the term has changed again, often implying a positive and ongoing relationship between migrants' homelands and their places of work and settlement. In this perceptive and arresting analysis, Robin Cohen illuminates the changing meanings of diaspora and the contemporary diasporic condition.

Notions of diaspora; Victim diasporas; Trading, labour and business diasporas; Imperial diasporas; Identity and belonging: diasporic politics; Diasporas as creative difference; Diasporas as the late-modern condition; Conclusion.

216 x 138 mm 224pp April 1997
1-85728-207-8 38.00 HB 1-85728-208-6 12.95 PB
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New Diasporas
The mass exodus, dispersal and regrouping of migrant communities

Nicholas Van Hear, Refugee Studies Programme, University of Oxford, UK

Recent profound changes in the world political and economic order have generated large movements of people in almost every region.  As migration has proliferated, so too has the formation of diaspora or transnational communities, leading to increasing numbers of people with allegiances straddling their places of origin and their new homelands.  At the same time, many expatriates have been forced to return home and other previously scattered populations have regrouped, leading to the weakening or un-doing of diasporas.

This book charts the connections between migration crises and transnational communities: their formation, their demise and their social, economic and political fall-out.  Drawing on original research and a wide range of case material, Nicholas Van Hear looks in detail at ten migration crises in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Central America and the Caribbean, providing a rich and compelling perspective on the social, economic and political implications of migration worldwide.   He examines the factors that are accelerating, and constraining, the growth of transnational communities in an ever more volatile world migration order.

216 x 138 mm 298pp March 1998
1-85728-837-8 40.00 HB 1-85728-838-6 14.95 PB
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The Sikh diaspora
The politics of homeland

Darshan Singh Tatla

The Sikh diaspora is an impressive, probing and original examination pf the migrant Sikh population. Exploring the cultural, economic and social linkages between overseas Sikh communities and the Punjab, Darshan Tatla focuses on issues such as the politics of homeland, the dynamics of ethnic and political bonds and the impact of institutional changes following Indian army action against the Golden temple in June 1984 on Sikh identity. Drawing from a wealth of rich source material from the US, Canada, the UK and the Punjab, this fascinating study provides a core text for those studying Punjab or Sikhs in Asian studies, as well as race, ethnicity and international migration in sociology and politics.

216 x 138 mm 245pp December 1997
1-85728-300-7 40.00 HB 1-85728-301-5 14.99 PB
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Italy's Many Diasporas

Donna R. Gabaccia, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

Italy's residents are a migratory people. Since 1800 well over 27 million left home, but over half also returned again.  As cosmopolitans, exiles, and 'workers of the world' they transformed their homeland and many of the countries where they worked or settled abroad.  But did they form a diaspora?

This ambitious and theoretically innovative overview examines the social, cultural and economic integration of Italian migrants.  It explores their complex yet distinctive identity and their relationship with their homeland taking a comprehensive approach.

216 x 138 mm 280pp January 2000
1-85728-582-4 45.00 HB 1-85728-583-2 14.99 PB
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The Hindu Diaspora: Comparative Patterns

Steven Vertovec, Oxford University, UK

Hinduism outside the Indian subcontinent represents a divergent diaspora.   From Britain to the Caribbean, diasporic Hindus have substantially reformed their beliefs and practised in accordance with their historical and social circumstances.   In this theoretically innovative analysis Steven Vertovec looks at why Hindu identities have developed in such different ways in different contexts and in doing so questions the assumption that subcontinent Hinduism represents the authentic articulation of Hindu identity.  Amongst the case studies Vertovec examines are:

  • the historical construction of the category 'Hinduism' in India
  • the formation of a distinctive Caribbean Hindu culture during the nineteenth century
  • the role of youth groups in forging new identities during Trinidad's Hindu Renaissance
  • the reproduction of regionally based identities and frictions in Britain's Hindu communities
  • the differences in temple use across the diaspora.

This book provides a rich and fascinating view of the Hindu diaspora in the past, present and its possible futures.

216 x 138 mm 256pp November 2000
0-415-23892-7 50.00 HB 0-415-23893-5 16.99 PB
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