Mobilising the Diaspora

How Refugees Challenge Authoritarianism

Alexander Betts & Will Jones



Over half the world lives under authoritarian regimes. For these people, the opportunity to engage in politics moves outside the state's territory. Mobilising across borders, diasporas emerge to challenge such governments. This book offers an in-depth examination of the internal politics of transnational mobilisation. Studying Rwandan and Zimbabwean exiles, it exposes the power, interests, and unexpected agendas behind mobilisation, revealing the surprising and ambivalent role played by outsiders.


Alexander Betts and Will Jones have made a major contribution to our understanding of how diaspora mobilisation works. Their analysis of the role of 'animators' and their detailed case studies of Rwandan and Zimbabwean diaspora politics significantly extend and enrich existing theories of diaspora engagement, refugee politics and transnationalism. - Fiona Adamson


Alexander Betts is Leopold Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs and a Fellow of Green-Templeton College at the University of Oxford.

Dr Will Jones is a Departmental Lecturer in Forced Migration, Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford.