Conflict and Cooperation in Armenian Diaspora Mobilisation for Genocide Recognition

  • Maria KoinovaEmail author
Part of the Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship book series (MDC)


Mobilising for genocide recognition has been central for sustaining the Armenian diaspora for over a century. This chapter analyses how genocide recognition claims become sustained through conflict and cooperation, internal and external to the Armenian diaspora. Internally, activists have been involved in cooperation with different diaspora sub-groups, despite often existing party rivalries. Externally, Armenian diaspora activists have been involved in both cooperative and conflictual relationships with other diasporas. Arameans and Pontus Greeks, also affected by the 1915 genocide, have been long-time allies to the better-organised Armenians. Conflict has been pronounced with Turks and Azeri in the diaspora, who have developed their own counter-mobilisations. This chapter concludes that both conflict and cooperation are central to sustain diaspora mobilisation for genocide recognition.


Scholarship on transnational diaspora mobilisation has grown substantially over the past decade. Driven by the increasing global linkages between states, diasporas, and other non-state actors, works have emphasised the role of diasporas in terrorism (Byman et al. 2001; Hoffman et al. 2007), conflict and peace-building (Collier and Hoeffler 2000; Shain 2002; Shain and Barth 2003; Adamson 2005; Smith and Stares 2007; Orjuella 2008; Koinova 2011), democratisation (Shain 1999; Koinova 2009; Kapur 2010), and international development (Kapur 2004; Brinkerhoff 2008). Many of these works have focused on the agency of diasporas as non-state actors, and on exogenous and endogenous factors affecting their mobilisation. Other scholars have viewed diasporas as targets of sending states, which seek to engage their diasporas remotely in domestic processes. States do so instrumentally, through identity-based, or governmentality logics (Gamlen 2008; Ragazzi 2014; Tsourapas 2015). In previous work, I have argued that separate positionality logic needs to be considered, as diasporas amass different powers from the socio-spatial linkages to the contexts in which they are embedded (2012). Conflict and cooperation have been discussed in some works, but have not yet been explicitly theorised upon. As Carment and Sadjed point out in Chap.  1, attention to cooperation has been especially scarce. In a global world, cooperation is no more confined to nation-states, even if such are still considered to carry the primary agency in world politics. Conflict and cooperation take place among different agents and by way of different logics.


Conflict Cooperation Armenian diaspora Genocide Mobilisation Counter-mobilisation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CoventryUK

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