Diasporic Latinos

Global Latin(o) Americanos and Diasporic Arabs: Migrants and Minorities in Democratic Transitions

In recent decades two major political and migratory shifts have occurred in and altered the relationship between Latin America and the Arab world. These two regions share historical ties dating to the colonial period and today are connected by a population of 20 million people of Arab heritage living in Latin America, constituting the largest Arab diaspora in the world. Latin America and the Arab world also share contemporary histories of transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic governments. Latin America’s democratic transitions from dictatorships during the “Third Wave of Democratization” starting in the mid-1970s and the more recent challenge to authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring have forced these regions’ nations to reconsider the relationship to their growing and transforming populations. In particular, as both regions have experienced novel changes in their roles as migrant sending and receiving locations, establishing the rights and roles of immigrant and other minority populations has been central to their emerging democratic practices and structures.

This site interweaves two related collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects that examine the history and recent experience of migration and settlement of minority populations within these regions and to new global destinations: Global Latin(o) Americanos: Transoceanic Diasporas and Regional Migrations and Immigrants, Minorities and Democratic Transitions: Comparative Studies of Latin America and the Arab World. Emerging simultaneously and in conversation with one another, these projects challenge the dominant geopolitical and epistemological centers of Latino and Latin American studies by reorienting them from the perspectives of Latin America and the Caribbean’s intraregional and global diasporas, and placing them in comparative analysis with sites in the Arab World.

Additional content forthcoming.

For questions please contact mark.velazquez@uconn.edu