Autonomizing conflict: Conflict transportation and online mobilization among Kurdish and Turkish diasporas in Denmark
Jensen, Cæcilie Svop (2021)
Jensen, Cæcilie Svop
Master's Programme in Global Society
Yhteiskuntatieteiden tiedekunta - Faculty of Social Sciences
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The ways that diasporas can contribute to, or participate in, peace and conflict processes have been the focus of much scholarly work, especially since 9/11. Especially the ways in which conflicts in the countries of origin can be transported to the host countries have been central to research on diasporas and conflict. Despite large communities of both Turkish and Kurdish diasporas in Denmark, rarely any research is dedicated to investigating processes of conflict transportation in a Danish context. This study looks at the online mobilization of Turkish and Kurdish diasporas, to investigate processes of conflict transportation and how conflict in the countries of origin are present in the mobilization online. The study uses online ethnography to investigate online mobilization patterns and uses a theoretical framework of conflict autonomization. The study finds, that while conflict transportation does occur in online spaces, it is shaped and influenced by the specificity of the host country in which it takes place. Conflict narratives and mobilization patterns are restructured to accommodate the Danish context and the political as well as discursive opportunity structures existing there. Similarly, mobilization is shaped by transnational networks and movements both in the Kurdish and Turkish diasporas abroad, as well as other conflicts and diasporas mobilizing elsewhere. The involvement of outside actors, particularly ethnic Danes mobilizing for the Kurdish struggles, can be understood as a process of conflict autonomization, where the reconstruction of conflict narratives creates a dissemination of mobilization that exists outside and autonomous of the diaspora communities. Rather than the Turkish/Kurdish conflict being reproduced on Danish soil, the conflict is shaped by and shapes, mobilization patterns and discourses in a complex web of actors, actions and spaces. The study argues that utilizing the metaphor of the Rhizome as well as autonomization theory facilitates a proper understanding of the complexities existing in online diasporic mobilization.