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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  September 2015  /  Impacts of Diaspora

Impacts of Diaspora

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh at RGS Conference

Impacts of Diaspora

On 17 September, Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh presented her research into individual and collective experiences of statelessness within two Middle Eastern diasporas at a conference on the Impacts of Diaspora, jointly convened by the Universities of Oxford and Leicester and held at the Royal Geographical Society.

Drawing on interviews with over 100 Palestinians and Kurds since 2011 in France, Sweden and the UK, Elena examined how and why people experiencing displacement and dispossession – including through the current conflicts across the Middle East - may resist 'stateless' legal status in the EU.

She argued that resistance to the stateless label is not a rejection of individual claims to rights and protection. It rather rejects ­a process which re-inscribes, rather than redresses, the loss of a demarcated geography - in these cases, the Palestinian or Kurdish homelands.

Dr. Fiddian-Qasmiyeh thus highlights the need both to re-territorialise and re-politicise the contemporary analysis of statelessness.

Her presentation marked the culmination of a 4-year, multi-sited research project into (Re)Conceptualising Stateless Diasporas, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

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Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh


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