Do Diasporas Matter? The Growing Role of the Ukrainian Diaspora in the UK and Poland in the Development of the Homeland in Times of War
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Ukraine has been going through a series of political and economic crises, notably the Euromaidan revolution and the Russian aggression and subsequent economic downturn. These events triggered fresh transnational diaspora-led activities such as the ‘London Euromaidan’ and the ‘Warsaw Euromaidan’. This paper analyses Ukrainian diaspora volunteerism in the UK and Poland and explores how the Ukrainian diaspora engages and contributes economically, socially, politically and culturally to the development of Ukraine. Drawing on fieldwork in both countries, three main findings were identified. First, due to the events in Ukraine, the Ukrainian diaspora has mobilised, grown stronger and became more united, whilst transforming from a more inward-looking to a more outward-looking community which, as a result, is now more and critically engaging with Ukrainian affairs. Second, the Ukrainian diaspora has the willingness, power and resources to contribute to the development of the home country, claiming to be recognised as an important stakeholder in the development of Ukraine. Thirdly, the Ukrainian government’s lack of recognition of the contribution of the Ukrainian diaspora is one of the most significant barriers to more comprehensive diaspora involvement in development.
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