Introduction
in Diaspora as translation and decolonisation
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This introductory chapter sets out the main rationale of and premise for the book. It argues that diaspora is far too often understood and examined as emerging out of ethno-political struggles within nation-states, and told from the perspective of push factors. Diaspora research has become too tightly hemmed into the history, sources and understandings of the nation-state. It is often examined as a case study without necessarily informing how the case study expands or challenges existing conceptualisations of diaspora, or without reference to wider contemporary social, political and global debates and orders. This has brought limitations to diaspora research as it has severed the links between empire and diaspora on the one hand, and the transnational dimensions of diaspora research on the other. As a consequence, the spatial and temporal dimensions of diaspora research are curtailed and the potential of diaspora as an analytical tool is not always realised. The book aims to contribute to diaspora theorising by conceptualising diaspora as translation and decolonisation. It seeks to expand diaspora conceptualisations spatially and temporally by weaving translation and decolonisation into examinations of diaspora. The chapter also summarises arguments presented in all five substantive chapters of the book, and examines how they can help to expand thinking and understanding of diaspora, making it more appropriate for our global age.

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