The Transformation of Homeland Politics in the Era of Resettlement: Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and the diaspora

10 September 2019

This article examines how resettled Bhutanese refugees who lived in refugee camps in Nepal for two decades perceive, understand, and interact with their “home” country of Bhutan in the political sphere. It draws on initial field research (of a larger, six-year longitudinal project) of Bhutanese refugees who remain in Nepal and who have resettled in the diaspora. The first part of the paper will review the theories that might predict resettlement political engagement as categorized by the author (declining, continuing, shifting, and reformed). After a brief discussion of methods, the article will then review the context of refugeehood and resettlement for refugees from Bhutan, and will then compare homeland politics in the preresettlement and resettlement phases. The article concludes that homeland politics has continued in the resettlement era, although in somewhat altered form.