Date of Award

Spring 5-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

David Earnest

Committee Member

Jie Chen

Committee Member

Jennifer Fish

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45 D48 2010


Diasporas are important transnational actors with significant potential to influence their homeland. However, when crisis drives migration, certain limitations and opportunities are created, affecting their role in their homeland. The Zimbabwean diaspora provides an interesting case study for a diaspora from a state in crisis since nearly one-quarter of its population lives outside its borders. In a crisis characterized by political oppression, near economic collapse, and a breakdown of social institutions, one of the population's few options for survival has been migration. The diaspora that has resulted has played a political, economic and social role in Zimbabwe, but the crisis within the country has affected its capacity for greater influence. The crisis has exacerbated the divisions among the many heterogeneous groups in the diaspora, limiting their collective action against the Zimbabwean government. The structure of the Zimbabwean state, which limits access points to decision makers, further hampers its ability to make substantial changes in its homeland.


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