Collective Identity Change under Exogenous Shocks: The Gülen Movement and Its Diasporization

Hakkı Taş (2022): Collective Identity Change under Exogenous Shocks: The Gülen Movement and Its Diasporization, Middle East Critique. Full Text

Diasporas do not arise from fixed connections to objective circumstances such as dispersion or relation to a homeland, but instead constantly are negotiated and re-constituted. Ranging from internal gradual change to sudden exogenous change, the re-making of a diaspora can take diverse forms. Despite the prevalence of constructivist and processual approaches, however, research on diaspora identity change has been limited. This paper takes a comparative historical perspective to the post-2016 diasporization of the Gülen Movement (GM) and discusses how the GM responded differently to sudden exogenous shocks in 1997, 2007, and 2016. In both historical institutionalism and rational choice theories, the sudden exogenous shocks do the heavy lifting to explain change; however, it is rather the endogenous parameters that account for the variation in the GM’s responses to those shocks.

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