The Emergence of Palestinian Mughtaribûn: Diaspora Politics and State-Building in Oslo Palestine


  • Xavier Guignard Pantheon Sorbonne University



diaspora, Palestinian Diaspora, state building, Returnees, Palestinian, Expatriates, mughtaribun, Israeli/Palestinian Negotiations, migratory flows, Political Careers, diaspora politics, Oslo Accords, migration, expatriate nationals, United Nations, privilege, exile, power, circulation, homelands


This article argues that the second generation of Palestinian returnees, the mughtaribûn, form a distinct category in the migratory flows that ensued from the Oslo accords. Mainly originating from North America and Western Europe, they actively took part in the state-building process, while simultaneously investing in their globally-oriented professional careers. These new experts partly owe their return to the investment earmarked for these “expatriate nationals” made by the United-Nations since the 1970s, endowing them with a degree of privilege in accessing political positions within the core structures of their homeland states. The mughtaribûn illustrates the complex history of relation between exile and power in the Palestinian national movement and a more globalized phenomenon of circulation between highly skilled diasporic actors and their homelands. 

Author Biography

Xavier Guignard, Pantheon Sorbonne University

Doctoral student at Paris Pantheon Sorbonne University in Political Science and a Research Fellow at the Institut français du Proche Orient






Special Section: From Migrants to Dual Citizens? Dispatches from the European Research Council WAFAW Initiative