Migration and Transnational Governance: Middle East Cases And Challenges’
- Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies
- Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies
- Volume 5, Number 1, 2018
- Additional Information
© Moise A. Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies 2018 Mashriq &Mahjar 5, no I. (2018): 1-10 ISSN 2169-4435 Laurie A. Brand and Tamirace Fakhoury MIGRATION AND TRANSNATIONAL GOVERNANCE: MIDDLE EAST CASES AND CHALLENGES* In early March 2017, a feud broke out between the Turkish and German governments. The source was a critical upcoming referendum in Turkey aimed at giving increased powers to the President Recep Tayyib Erdogan. Hosting the world's largest Turkish diaspora community of an estimated five million, Germany was a natural site for rallies of Erdogan supporters in favor of a 'yes' vote on the referendum. When such gatherings scheduled for the first weekend in March in Cologne and Gaggenau were cancelled by the authorities for what were characterized as security concerns, Erdogan further exacerbated the Laurie A. Brand is the Robert Grandford Wright Professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at the University ofSouthern California, where she has directed the Center for International Studies, served as Director of the School of International Relations, and, most recently headed the Middle East Studies program. Brand has also served as president of the Middle East Studies Association (2004), and has chaired MESA's Committee on Academic Freedom since 2006. Her articles on migration and diaspora have appeared in Comparative Politics, Political Geography, and the International Migration Review; and she is the author of Citizens Abroad: States and Emigration in the Middle East and North Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2006). Dr. Tamirace Fakhoury is an associate professor in Political Sciences and International Affairs in the Department ofSocial Sciences, and the associate director of the institute of Social justice and Conflict Resolution (ISjCR). She has furthermore taught at the summer sessions at the University ofCalifornia in Berkeley between 2012 and 2016. Her core research and publication areas are: power-sharing in divided societies, migration dynamics and governance, Arab states' coping mechanisms with forced migration, and the role ofArab immigrant communities in political change. Fakhoury has published in the International Journal ofMiddle East Studies, the European Foreign Affairs Review, the Middle East Journal, the International Spectator and Middle East Policy. 2 Laurie A. Brand and Tamirace Fakhoury strained bilateral relationship by comparing such practices to those ofthe Nazi period. The furor over this episode had not yet calmed down the following week, when Dutch authorities prevented the Turkish Foreign Minister from flying to Rotterdam for a rally and the Minister ofthe Family and Social Policy from holding a similar meeting in Hamburg. While it may still appear strange to some that foreign political figures would travel to diaspora communities to encourage support for a referendum or election in the sending state-indeed, Turks were first allowed to exercise the rightto vote from abroad only in the 2014 presidential elections-the right to cast a ballot from outside the homeland and the attendant strategies of sending-state politicians to campaign beyond the borders of their national territory have become increasingly common around the world. They constitute examples, in this case particularly high profile ones, of the phenomenon of transnational governance explored in this special issue. The field of transnationalism, which was, in effect, launched by the now-classic 1994 Basch, Glick Schiller, and Szanton Blanc work Nations Unbound, 1 began as a deliberate departure from the then-existing literature on migration which was underpinned at most levels of analysis by a clear dichotomy between the sending and receiving state. While return migration was certainly studied, it was still largely within a framework which understood migratory movement as definitive in terms of virtually all relationships, save perhaps nostalgia. With the exception of work on remittances, once left, the sending state was either ignored or deemed to have little importance in understanding the political, social, and cultural futures of the migrants. Thus the field of transnationalism began with an implicit anti-state bias: with so much work shaped by what is now called methodological nationalism-the conception of social phenomena around or within the contours of the territorial boundaries of the nation state-scholars in this emerging area of study self-consciously eschewed not only the state level of analysis, but the state itself. Indeed, at the same time that neoliberal economics' assault...