Migration, Mobilities and the Arab Spring

Migration, Mobilities and the Arab Spring

Spaces of Refugee Flight in the Eastern Mediterranean

Edited by Natalia Ribas-Mateos

Confronting questions of globalization, mobilities and space in the Mediterranean, and more specifically in the eastern Mediterranean, this book introduces a new type of complexity and ambiguity to the study of the global. In this theoretical frame an increasingly urban articulation of global logics and struggles, and an escalating use of urban space to make political claims, not only by citizens but also by foreigners, can be found. By emphasizing the interplay between global, regional and local phenomena, the book examines new forms and conditions, such as the transformation of borders, the reconfiguration of transnational communities, the agency of transnational families, new mobilities and diasporas, and transnational networks of humanitarian response.

Chapter 2: The role of diasporas, migrants and exiles in the Arab revolutions and political transitions

Claire Beaugrand and Vincent Geisser

Subjects: geography, human geography, population studies, politics and public policy, migration, social policy and sociology, migration, urban and regional studies, migration


The so-called Arab revolutions caused a real shockwave amongst migrant and diasporic populations, rekindling their interest in the home countries’ politics and triggering unprecedented forms of political engagement abroad. This chapter takes historical and critical distance to assess the novelty of such forms of mobilisation. It first places them in the context of existing activist legacies against the background of which it then identifies two original features: the more inclusive character of the sudden, albeit temporary, solidarity movements and the new scale and directions of mobilities, be they attempts at returning to the countries of origin or intra-Arab migration movements.

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