Anna Ida Rock disputerar den 5 mars

2021-02-09

Anna Ida Rock försvarar sin avhandling Statebuilding through diaspora recruitment? - The role of capacity, norms and representation for legitimacy in Somaliland and Liberia den 5 mars kl. 13.15. Disputationen kommer att sändas live från Brusewitzsalen, Östra Ågatan 19.

Anna Ida Rock foto Tove Hellkvist

Opponent är professor Isabell Schierenbeck, Institutionen för globala studier, Göteborgs universitet.

Betygsnämndens ledamöter är professor Annika Björkdahl, statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Lunds universitet, docent Anders Themnér, institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning, Uppsala universitet och professor PerOla Öberg, statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Uppsala universitet (tillika ordförande vid disputationen).

Disputationen kommer att äga rum på svenska.

Statebuilding through diaspora recruitment? - The role of capacity, norms and representation for legitimacy in Somaliland and Liberia 

Abstract

How do the local elites and the wider population perceive returnees in post-war governments and what shapes these returnees’ legitimacy? Overall, while acknowledging some benefits, local elites in Somaliland and Liberia highlight challenges connected to returnees’ presence in governments and question their legitimacy. These challenges are mirrored in the perceptions of the Liberian population, who see returnees as less legitimate in government positions than stayees. The legitimacy of these returnees is mainly shaped by notions of capacity, democratic norms and practices as well as by how well they represent the local population. This thesis provides several pioneering studies of how diaspora returnees are perceived domestically. These issues are examined through three essays that rely on a wide array of novel data from Somaliland and Liberia. In essay I, I discuss under which conditions returnees in the Somaliland government are seen as legitimate. In essay II, I demonstrate how Liberian elite perceptions and experiences of returnee ministers only slightly correspond to the expectations held in international and national policy circles. In essays I and II, I mainly rely on elite interviews. However, in essay III, I investigate the research question from the perspective of the general Liberian population. Using a survey experiment, I demonstrate how a high presence of returnee ministers negatively affects cabinet legitimacy. This effect, however, is attenuated when returnees indicate that they will give up their ties to their host country. In this way, this thesis problematizes expectations of diaspora returnees by showing how they seldom constitute ideal interlocutors in statebuilding activities and their engagement often implies difficult trade-offs between central peacebuilding and statebuilding objectives. Dominance by returnees in the government excludes local actors and signals that qualifications acquired in the Global North are valued over domestic knowledge. This thesis concludes that in these contexts diaspora recruitment is highly political.

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Senast uppdaterad: 2021-04-06