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SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Catherine Craven

BA (Sussex) MSc (LSE)
  • Overview
  • Research


Catherine Craven
Miss Catherine Craven
Email address:
Thesis title:
Exploring changes in the international community's representation and engagement of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora after the end of the Sri Lankan civil war (working title)
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

My research project hopes to provide an answer to the question why the representation and engagement of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora by the international community has shifted since the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, from being highly securitized to exhibiting an increase in discourses and practices of partnership and cooperation, which suggests a process of de-securitization. In contrast to the extant scholarship dealing with diaspora engagement politics, I purport that this change cannot be brought down to changes in the behaviour of the Sri Lankan state or the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora alone. Rather, I explore how the discourses and practices concerning the engagement and representation of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora emerge and travel globally, through the relations and networks that exist between international bureaucrats and policy-makers. I argue that it is within the every-day experiences of these international elites that the explanation for the changes witnessed in relation to the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora lies. In order to investigate how this process unfolds, I will conduct a multi-sited ethnographic study of selected political spaces and critical junctures to trace the ways in which the diaspora concept has been performed and negotiated transnationally, and across different organizational cultures and communities of practice, in front of a backdrop of changing global norms and empirical realities.


  • London Migration Research Group
  • Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies


  • International Relations
  • Global Governance
  • Diaspora and Migration
  • Critical Security Studies
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Political Ethnography