The democratic deficit of diaspora politics: Turkish Cypriots in Britain and the Cyprus issue

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This article critically examines transnational political practices of migrants and their local and international political ramifications. Recent literature on migrant transnationalism heralds the role that migrants or refugees can play in democratisation in their countries of origin or even as significant actors in global politics. Drawing on an in-depth study of Turkish Cypriots in Britain, this article highlights two crucial and interrelated aspects of migrants transnational political participation as it unfolds in both their country of residence and their country of origin. First, the paper illustrates the ambiguity of those patterns of political representation that may characterise the interaction between migrants' homeland political associations and political actors in their countries of origin and settlement. Second, Turkish Cypriot transnational lobbying in Britain highlights how lack of access to the host-country political establishment limits migrants' influence on processes of democratisation in their country of origin. The paper explores the dynamics through which certain organisations manage to negotiate their way into the host-country political system while others remain outside on the 'Hyde Park Corner' of diaspora politics where central policy-makers rarely pass by.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-700
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2003


  • Cyprus
  • Democracy
  • Diasporas
  • Migration
  • Political participation
  • Transnationalism
  • United Kingdom


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