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The politicizing roles of irregular migrant diasporas and the ‘ambiguous’ concept of citizenship in modern democratic nations in Asia

Proposed by Poonam Sharma, Postdoctoral Researcher, National Chiao Tung University

My research focuses on the phenomenon of ‘migration’ of migrants/illegal immigrants as ‘unauthorized’ vote banks in Asian nations. The contemporary trends of migration in modern nation states has given a whole new perspective to researchers and thinkers, while the inflow and outflow of illegal migrants (i.e. those travelling to a host country without any proper documentation process) is not a new phenomenon, it has been described as a ‘threat’, ‘a problem’, ‘a social conflict’ since the last few decades. While emphasizing the colonial background and theories, it attempts to critically study the complex but crucial role of diasporic communities of some Asian nations.  Focusing on ethno-cultural complexities, it will look into the complexity of the phenomenon of migration, fluctuating citizenship status of migrants and the way the irregular migrants are employed as invisible political tools while at the same time are ‘socially excluded’ from the social strata. I will try to understand what ‘middle position’ is created for the existence of migrant diasporas in these places. Who helps them to create these midways and what are the factors responsible for creating them? While, the whole complication of migrants and citizens lie within the question of ‘citizenship’, this study will look at the concept of citizenship and the role of migrants with some important critical theories. Lastly, this study will try to understand; how this situation will frame the political future of operating multi-ethnic democracies in Asia and elsewhere? This study and the results drawn will help the social scientists and scholars to extract an idea and predict a situation that the modern nations might counter in the future.