The Future of the Kurdish Diaspora

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The chapter analyzes the processes of community formation among the Kurdish diaspora. The focus is on Europe, where the largest numbers of Kurds outside of the Middle East reside, but the presentation does not forget the increasing numbers in the rest of the world. The analysis is informed by theories of diaspora studies and sociological theories of immigrant community integration and assimilation processes. According to diaspora theories, time has to pass in order to assess whether a minority community forms a diaspora, or whether the community follows another integration or assimilation trajectory. In the case of the Kurds in Europe, the community already has a long migration history, which is briefly described by the author for the post-war period up until the European refugee crisis of 2015. The existing research on the Kurdish diaspora in Europe indicates that the communities have been significantly influenced by the continuous arrival of new groups of Kurdish migrants and refugees, as well as the subsequent transnational social, political and cultural relations between the diaspora and Kurdistan. The continuous transnationalism of a global Kurdish community has enabled the formation of a politically, socially and culturally informed community which fulfills the traditional characteristics of a diaspora group. Thus, subsequent generations of Kurds tend to continue to identify as Kurds and display a diasporic relationship to Kurdistan. Research indicates that there will be sizeable and permanent Kurdish minority communities in Europe in the future. An estimate of the size of the Kurdish diaspora is included.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook on the Kurds
EditorsMichael M. Gunter
Number of pages12
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis Group
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-64664-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-315-62742-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • diaspora
  • Kurdish
  • transnationalism

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