The Coptic diaspora and the status of the Coptic minority in Egypt

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Abstract

This paper examines the political activity of the Coptic diaspora in the United States in support of the Coptic minority in Egypt. Analysing its strategy reveals that for years it has focused on lobbying the United States and international bodies, in order to raise international awareness of the Coptic minority status. By using this strategy, it has framed the struggle for Copts’ rights in a manner that contradicts the Egyptian unity narrative, and the strategic choices of those they are struggling for. This paper shows that understanding the limitations of this strategy alongside a change in the structure of opportunities in Egypt has led to a change in the pattern of activity of the diaspora activists. Alongside lobbying for international involvement, they have developed additional strategies, including strengthening their influence in the homeland and even direct action vis-à-vis the Egyptian authorities. This paper, which emphasises the pattern of action of diaspora activists that represent minorities, directs attention to the structure of opportunities in the homeland, the variety of relationships between the diaspora and the homeland, and their effect on the ability of the diaspora activists to become a significant force in shaping the life of the minority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1221
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume43
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 May 2017

Keywords

  • 2011 revolution
  • Copts
  • Egypt
  • United States
  • diaspora

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