School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, GB
Idil Osman is the editor of this special issue of JOMEC Journal. She is co-author of Somalia to Europe: Stories of the Somali Diaspora, a book that chronicles the civil war experiences of Somali Europeans and their subsequent migration to the UK, as well as several journal articles and reports on mediated migration, conflict, diaspora communities and public policy. She holds a PhD from Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies: this work examined the role of diasporic media in conflict zones. Previously a Teaching Fellow in Media and Communication in the University of Leicester's Department of Media and Communication, she is now a Research Associate and Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS.
This is the editorial for the special issue ‘Diaspora beyond Nationalism’. It makes a case for the research focus of the issue, explaining that it grew out of a conference of the same title, held in September 2015. Debates about migrants in many Western countries have increasingly taken a contentious tone, and have propelled nationalist and far-right parties, putting pressure on governments to resist further arrivals as well as becoming more demanding of migrants and diaspora communities that already live in those countries. The West has a long history of migrant settlement and when this is coupled with global notions of human rights and the responsibility to protect, managing migration becomes increasingly complex. Academic engagement can unpack and contribute to the understanding of some of this complexity. This JOMEC Journal special issue seeks to make a timely intervention on the lived experiences of migrants and diaspora communities, the multifaceted roles they play, the identities they occupy, the cultural transformations they carve out and undergo, and the centrality of media representation and communications technology usage, to provide meaningful insight into these processes.