Transnationalism and Civic Engagement: Diasporic Formation and Mobilization in Denmark and the UAE
By Abdulkadir Osman Farah
The question of population migration and Diaspora transnationalism in the age of globalization is an area of social sciences deserving much more attention than it has received. This book deals with the advent of new ideological currents based on an assumed “Clash of Civilizations” increasingly popular in social, economic and political discourses.
In this regard applicable oriental literature on migration and Diaspora formation is comparatively older than what has been produced in the west in recent years, thus deserving careful consideration. For instance when dealing with transnational communities the concept of qabiil (kinship allegiance) as a central organizational factor dominates western scholarship. Instead this book favors taking both western and non-western approaches into consideration in order to achieve deeper and richer understanding of the transnational global Diaspora condition. In order to surmount the dichotomy of essentialist versus no-essentialist frames, the epistemological approach instrumentalized in this work follows an emancipatory method critically engaging both approaches.
Furthermore the book proposes a theoretical framework analytically connecting western and non-western social inquiry. Hence we should note Emile Durkheim’s scheme of modern society transformation from “mechanical to organic solidarity” was preceded by Ibn Khaldun’s binary scheme distinguishing “badawa” (primitive or pre-modern, i.e. symbolizing nomadism, loyalty and tribalism) from “hadara” (civilization or modern, i.e. symbolizing modernity, urbanization and individualism).
Finally this book empirically examines how a host country’s mobilizing, political and structural opportunities or lack of them influence transnational Diasporas’ civic engagement that often include the application of combined formal and informal social, economic and political capital in addressing multifaceted challenges emanating from host and homeland environments.
Abdulkadir Osman Farah studied political science at Aarhus University Denmark and also holds a doctorate degree in international relations and development from the same university. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Aalborg University where he teaches political economy, international relations, transnationalism and development aid. Dr Farah is the editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal of International Studies (IJIS), Aalborg University and co-founder of the Centre for Research and Integration in Denmark and Northern Eastern African-Nordic Research Network (NEANOR). He is the co-editor of the well-regarded book: Somalia: Diaspora and State Formation in the Horn of Africa (2007, Adonis & Abbey Publishers, London). Dr Farah is also on the board of many professional Danish and international organizations.