Nauja Kleist: Studying Somali Diaspora Humanitarianism – Some Methodological Considerations

EASA Anthropology of Humanitarianism Network

Studying Somali diaspora humanitarianism:
Some methodological considerations

Nauja Kleist, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies,

Diaspora groups are amongst the so-called new humanitarian actors that work outside the international humanitarian system. Growing out of transnational connections that link diaspora groups with their families and erstwhile homelands, diaspora humanitarianism has a strong affective and relational dimension that may enable fast communication about emergencies, knowledge about cultural and social contexts, rapid mobilisation of relief, and delivery to hard-to-reach areas. It may also, however, reflect and perhaps even reproduce existing social divisions and inequalities.

In this blog post, I discuss Somali diaspora humanitarianism, reflecting upon questions of scale and sites. Following the civil war from 1988 and onwards, Somalis have been displaced all over the world, estimated to count around 2 million people today. Most of the global Somali diaspora lives in the neighbouring countries but many Somali families…

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