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Conflict and Reconciliation in the Diaspora: the case of Greek immigrants in Australia in the aftermath of the Greek Civil War

Open Panel

Abstract

The paper discusses how conflict and reconciliation are (re)produced in the Diaspora. The literature on the role of Diasporas during peace and war in the countries of origin depicts a mixed canvass with positive and negative influences linked to the various stages of the conflict. This conventional wisdom has been questioned recently by case studies which highlight the complexity of the Diasporic phenomenon depending on the level of analysis (individual Vs institutional involvement); another important insight was gained by examining the variety of attitudes and types of transnational activities the Diaspora adopts vis a vis the homeland conflict. Having as a case in point the Greek Diaspora in Australia, the paper analyses the ways in which the ideological confrontation in Greece between Right and Left was reproduced in Australia in the aftermath of the Greek civil war. The Greek case is also distinguished by a particular characteristic which, although we come across in other case studies, has not gained adequate scholarly attention so far: that is, the fact that, for different reasons, both winners and losers found themselves in a new country as immigrants. Hence, the paper will attempt first to investigate how the Greek conflict was shaped during the first post-war decades in Australia, second it will identify how the local conflict was influenced by the reconciliation process that took place in Greece, and finally it will examine the degree of influence that the political struggles of Australian society exercised on the conflict within the Greek community.