Transnationalizing Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice: The Kurdish Diaspora's Role in Peace and Truth-Seeking Efforts in Turkey

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Location: C103, Hesburgh Center for International Studies

Bahar Baser

Kroc Institute Visiting Research Fellow

The growing literature on diasporas’ involvement in homeland conflicts shows that new global diasporas have the power to influence political, social, and economic developments in their country of origin and residence. Although research in these areas is growing, there is still much to discover about what roles diasporas play under which circumstances in conflict resolution and transitional justice mechanisms. Dr. Baser’s research seeks to fill this gap by first reviewing the existing literature on diaspora engagement and then examining the Kurdish Diaspora as a case study meant to demonstrate the complexities and challenges of integrating diaspora narratives into a peace, reconciliation, and transitional justice framework. Between 2009 and 2015, Turkey underwent a "peace process" where Turkish authorities negotiated with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and its imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan. During this lecture, crucial events from this process will be analyzed, different perceptions of diaspora actors involved in the peace process will be explained, and finally, the scope and limitations of diaspora engagement will be discussed using a comparative approach that draws on examples from different conflict-generated diaspora case studies.