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Transnationalism Practices by the Kurdish Diaspora Elite: -The role of the Swedish Kurdish diaspora elite -
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


In the past, the main focus of migration studies was the investigation of influences of immigrants on the host society and their integration into the country of settlement. However, transnationalism studies currently place much greater emphasis upon the other side – which is the effect of living in diaspora, in the society of origin with trans-border citizenship. The cultural, social and political interactions and connections between Sweden as a country of settlement and Kurdistan (especially Iraqi Kurdistan), create a transnational social space where the members of the Kurdish elite can play a major role in improvement of Kurdistan. From here, their adoption of a double identity makes it possible for them to permanently define and redefine their position in Swedish society while simultaneously participating in the inherent development of Kurdistan.

The merging of the members of the Kurdish elite’s discourse in rebuilding of democracy and development with regard to reconstruction, leads to more focus on the role of diaspora and understanding the Swedish Kurdish elite’s impact on “functionalizing” and major contribution in the current state of Kurdistan. The ways of expression, increasing academic value, multicultural behavior, and the elite’s activities in civil society organization in between two or several states, their appearance in the international scene, experiences of living in both host / home societies, and multi-relations in a diasporic context continuing and re-adjusting national identities are essential indications of trans-border identity formation of Kurdish diaspora.

After the liberation of Kurdistan (northern Iraq 2003), members of the Kurdish elite experienced transnationalism mainly through transferring their success in performing various activities for their homeland and at the same time integrating more into the host countries that received them. During this research, the researcher met and interviewed a number of members of Kurdish elites who had very interesting stories about the Kurdish diaspora, and more especially the important role they play in the transnational space that connects the Kurdish homeland to many European countries and the United States. Using a phenomenology method, the researcher classifies the elements that can characterize the practices of Kurdish diaspora elite as transnationalism. 

Sweden is one of the main countries where the Kurdish elite diaspora gathered and are organized to contribute to the development of Kurdistan. Since the Kurdish diaspora is the largest nation that lacks a state, the Kurdish diaspora has formed a long-distance nation in host country.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 97 p.
Keyword [en]
Transnationalism- Elite- - Sweden- Kurd
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78370OAI: diva2:537862
2012-05-29, 11:00 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-08-17 Created: 2012-06-27 Last updated: 2012-08-17Bibliographically approved

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