Reviews

This thematic issue of the French “Notebook of Studies on the Eastern Mediterranean and the Turkic-Iranian World” proposes a renewed multi-disciplinary reflection on ancient and modern diasporas, mainly through the notions of identity and nationalism.  It also provides elements for further research on the situation currently created by the crisis of nation-states and by the ever-growing extension of planetary networks.  The first, overall contribution by a geographer of the Middle East stresses the numerous discrepancies observable between varied migrant communities from this region of the world:  They very variously correspond to the classical definition of what is a diaspora (a limited number of these groups have been forcibly driven to migration), whence they main common point is made of the common difficulties they have to cope with in their respective countries of welcome (Bazin Marcel, “Méditerranée orientale et monde turco-iranien: une aire productrice de diasporas? [The Eastern Mediterranean and the Turkic-Iranian World: A Diaspora-Producing Area?],” 13-33).  The second paper of the present volume regarding Central Eurasia is an overall study of the problems created by the return of the Meskhs to their Southern Caucasian homeland in the aftermath of the 1989-90 interethnic violence in Central Asia (Adam Ségolène, “La diaspora meskhète face aux défis de la transition post-soviétique [The Meskh Diaspora Facing the Challenges of Post-Soviet Transition],” 113-35).  The volume’s last ‘Central Eurasian’ contribution is a sutble analysis of the integration strategies developed by Afghan exiles in Western Europe (with special interest in Switzerland), in association with the mental construction of a “myth of return”.  The authors have been observing the invention of a new ‘Afghan culture and tradition’ among the exiled Afghan communities, as well as new assessments of an Afghan national consciousness (Centlivres Pierre & Centlivres-Demont Micheline, “Exil et diaspora afghane en Suisse et en Europe [Afghan Exile and Diaspora in Switzerland and in Europe],” 151-75).

The Redaction
CER: I-2.1-117