This project analyses the subject of diaspora, cross-border democracy, and its future.

Guided by the major investigations of “cross-border” processes and “international” democracy by Charles S. Maier and other scholars, the project develops new thinking about diasporas and address the striking silence about diasporas in the literature on democracy, which supposes that “democracy requires statehood” and “without a state there can be no democracy” (Robert A. Dahl, Linz & Stepan).

At the heart of the project is an integrated collection of contributions about the complex and dynamic political, social and economic effects diasporas have on democratisation in their home countries, especially Ukraine. The volume raises such questions as: what exactly is meant by the term disapora? How do diasporas shape and impact countries during their attempted democratisation? What is the relationship between nation-state democracy and diasporas considered as cross-border, long-distance phenomena? Do diasporas beg a redefinition of conventional understandings of democracy and democratisation processes? How, and to what extent do new digital communication systems play a role in nurturing and sustaining these processes?

Relying on empirical insights from Eastern European diasporas and featuring the case of Ukraine, the volume will contribute to a new understanding of the role of interconnected global diasporas in processes of democratisation. This will involve adding fresh perspectives on the variety of unconventional strategies, trajectories and practices used to influence democratic development, such as provisioning financial support to individuals, families, NGOs, economic investments, cultural exchange programs.

The contributors to this volume will share their observations and empirical evidence concerning the involvement of Eastern European migrants and diasporas in flourishing and/or the survival of democracy in their home countries. We encourage submissions that focus on the involvement of Ukrainian migrants and Ukrainian diasporas across the United States, Europe, Canada, Asia and Australia, especially during the post-Euromaidan democratic shifts that are taking place in Ukraine. Placing Eastern European diasporas in comparative perspective, as well as referring to the global role played by the Ukraine diaspora, the book will show that many of its current problems are not unique and that other countries with active diasporas have been able to address many of the issues currently confronting efforts at democratisation in Ukraine.

The book chapters are scheduled to be workshopped at the WZB Berlin Social Science Research Center in April 2017, then presented at an international symposium at University of Sydney and published in early 2018.



Dr. Olga Oleinikova, Research Fellow at Sydney Democracy Network & Director of Ukraine Democracy Initiative at University of Sydney.

Professor John Keane, Professor of Politics, Founder & Director Sydney Democracy Network at University of Sydney.