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Diasporic Political Communication: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives

16.04.2020 23:05 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Abstract submission deadline: April 15, 2020

Full chapters due: October 15, 2020

Editors: Ehab Galal, Mostafa Shehata and Claus Valling Pedersen

The pace of immigration from the Middle East has accelerated over the past decade, and for many reasons. The most notable of these is the political instability triggered by the failure of the 2011 Arab uprisings. The region has also seen significant political transformations in addition to these pivotal uprisings, such as the 2009 Iranian Green revolution, the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt, and the continuing Kurdish and Palestinian struggles for independence.

2019 presents the rebirth of Arab uprisings in some other countries (Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon and Iraq), and the acceleration of political and economic oppression in others. There are many Iranian towns which are experiencing new waves of demonstrations, and, in Turkey, new laws have been passed to stabilise the regime after the coup d'état attempt. The possibility of yet another rise in immigration to Western countries and elsewhere has therefore increased, adding to the importance of diasporic communities. Based on this premise, we invite researchers to examine the role and influence of Middle Eastern diasporic communities on the political developments in their countries of heritage and of residence.

These diasporic communities, in light of post-uprising authoritarianism, have acted as opposition groups which seek to support a democratic transition in their countries of heritage. The role of digital media has consequently been with their countries of heritage and of residence. The political role of digital media in the Middle Eastern diaspora, however, has become increasingly ambivalent. Contesting the authoritarian rule of Middle East countries, on the one hand, and the rise of fake news, misinformation, and digital authoritarianism on the other, has had an impact on the oppositional role of digital media.

The impending new decade presents the need for an empirical-based theorisation of how political communication works in diaspora, and its influence on transnational mobilisation has become more urgent. The importance of this work increases in light of four significant considerations:

(i) The change of digital media’s political role within the last few years, compared to its intense role in the early 2010s.

(ii) The rise of new voices calling for democracy in the Middle East in the so-called second wave of the Arab uprisings.

(iii) The lack of holistic works that theorise political communication in diaspora, and its transnational influence. The diaspora has mainly been investigated from an inter-cultural communication perspective, focusing on globalisation, hybridity, integration, belonging, and so on. An embodied political communication perspective has, however, been disregarded. This perspective would be unique if followed, to handle the diaspora’s transnational political participation, contentious politics, political campaigns, voting behaviour, and so on.

(iv) The transformations of global immigration policies that have led to a conflict between pro-and-anti-immigration positions.

We invite authors to suggest chapters for two kinds of contributions:

  • Theoretical chapters addressing one or more of the following concepts: Mediatisation, Diaspora, Multimodality, Contentious Action Formation, and how each of these concepts relates to political communication among (Middle East) diasporas.
  • Empirically-based chapters that examine one or more Middle East diasporas, and how these diasporas use traditional and (or) digital media to politically mobilise and transnationally connect.

Research questions

This book asks fundamental and critical questions about media (both traditional and new) and politics in the diaspora, such as:

  • What is diasporic political communication?
  • How political communication comes closer with intercultural communication and organisational communication in the diaspora?
  • What is the role of media technology in diaspora’s contentious politics?
  • How do media politically disconnect or re-connect users to their countries of heritage?
  • How do media shape a diasporic political identity?
  • How do misinformation and digital authoritarianism affect the political role of diaspora?
  • How might digital media change the collective identity of diasporic communities?
  • How do media facilitate connection with their countries of heritage and of residence?
  • How do diasporic media activities empower or disempower democratic actors residing in the Middle East?
  • How do media facilitate the diaspora’s participation in the politics of the country of residence?
  • How do diasporic communities contribute to their countries of heritage during a crisis?
  • Why are diasporic communities interested in matters of their countries of heritage, regardless of whether they have or have not lived in or visited those countries (second and subsequent generations)?


Contributions include but are not limited to the following topics:

  • Conceptualising diasporic political communication.
  • Political communication in relation to inter-cultural and organisational communication in diaspora.
  • Media and diasporic empowerment.
  • Media and diasporic contentious actions.
  • Media and diasporic political identity.
  • Media and integration into the country of residence, and sense of belonging to their country of heritage.
  • Transnational digital authoritarianism.


This edited book will be a combination of invited contributions and chapters from this open call.

The book will be published, subject to peer reviews with no author fees.


  • 15 April 2020: Deadline for abstracts (approx. 500 words).
  • 1 May 2020: Editors’ response to abstracts.
  • 15 October 2020: Deadline for full chapters (8,000 words).
  • 15 December 2020: Authors receive reviews.
  • 15 January 2021: Deadline for revised chapters.
  • Summer 2021: Publication of edited book.


Please send your abstract of approx. 500 words to this email:

by 15 April 2020.

Book editors

1. Dr. Ehab Galal

Ehab is an Associate Professor at the department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Copenhagen University. He has approached research questions from a cross-disciplinary perspective inspired by media as well as ethnographic, cultural, and religious studies. He has been leading a research team working on a project (Mediatised Diaspora) since 2018. This research investigates transnational media and contentious politics among the Arab diaspora in Europe. For more information about Ehab, please follow this link:

2. Dr. Mostafa Shehata

Mostafa is an Associate Researcher with the University of Copenhagen, and an Assistant Professor at Menoufia University. He holds both a Master’s and Ph.D. degree in mass communication. His research addresses a broad spectrum of issues in political communication and diaspora, such as contentious politics, collective action and mediatisation. His current research within the project of Mediatised Diaspora focuses on the transnational media and contentious politics among Tunisians in Europe. For more information about Mostafa, please follow this link:

3. Dr. Claus Valling Pedersen

Claus is an Associate Professor in Persian Studies at the department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Copenhagen University. He specialises in Persian language and literature. Claus is currently conducting research on literature written by the Iranian diaspora in Europe and the U.S. The literature is written in both Persian and the language of the country of residence. For more information about Claus, please follow this link:



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