Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Diaspora Politics: Ethnic Linkages, Foreign Policy, and Security in Eurasia

  • Charles King
  • Neil J. Melvin
| Winter 1999/2000


Our final two articles consider the impact of ethnic identity in Eurasia following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of fifteen nation-states that are home to a variety of dispersed ethnic communities. Each reflects on the multilayered meaning of the term "ethnicity" and its complex relationship to national and international politics.  Charles King of Georgetown University and Neil Melvin of the University of Leeds assess the influence of "diasporas"—"ethnic communities divided by state frontiers"—on the international relations of three Soviet successor states: Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. They write that in general the "diaspora politics" of these three states have been relatively ineffective as a foreign policy. Their evidence also suggests that although Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan do portray themselves as ethnic homelands and continue to reach out to co-ethnics living abroad, such actions should not necessarily be considered destabilizing or a prelude to ethnic conflict.

For more information on this publication: Please contact International Security
For Academic Citation: King, Charles, Neil J. Melvin. Diaspora Politics: Ethnic Linkages, Foreign Policy, and Security in Eurasia.” Quarterly Journal: International Security, vol. 24. no. 3. (Winter 1999/2000):

The Authors