The Sweet Spot between Submission and Subversion: Diaspora, Education and the Cosmopolitan Project

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)



Drawing on recent data from the UK Iranian diaspora, this chapter explores the role that British-Iranian organisations, particularly ‘supplementary’ schools, (can) play in processes of cosmopolitanisation. I argue that a particular type of interaction between diasporic organisations and host-nation ones opens up a ‘sweet spot’ – a space of praxis neither fully controlled by the diaspora nor by the nation-state – in which the ‘cultural excess’ of both the diaspora and the nation-state becomes ‘stripped away’, leaving the potential for cosmopolitan practices and discourses. These processes are exemplified by what I refer to as ‘diasporic education’, which also provides concrete tools for cosmopolitanisation. A more radical implication of my argument is that ‘being diasporic’, as a normal and constant feature of human life and a unique mode of agency, is the most potent mode of praxis for undoing essentialist hegemonies at both diasporic and national levels as we move towards a cosmopolitan future.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiaspora as Cultures of Cooperation
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal and Local Perspectives
EditorsDavid Carment, Ariane Sadjed
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameMigration, Diasporas and Citizenship
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan