Transnational networks and civil society activities in the context of forced migration: Afghan and Syrian communities in Germany (February 2022 – January 2024)

The number of people from Afghanistan and Syria living in Germany has risen sharply over the past decade as a consequence of forced migration from these two countries. This significant migration episode was preceded by others, as a result of which smaller Afghan and Syrian communities have been present in Germany for several decades. In both cases, family reunification has also led to the consolidation of migration patterns; a new generation is born and raised here in Germany. The ongoing conflicts in both countries suggest that many will make Germany their permanent home. The first cohorts of those who arrived in the 2010s can now apply for a permanent residence permit or naturalisation.

A comparative research project investigates whether and to what extent both an Afghan and a Syrian “diaspora community” are emerging in Germany, how they are organised and what role they play in the lives of their respective members in Germany and in terms of their links to the countries of origin. In addition to transnational activities, the study also seeks to create a substantiated and nuanced understanding of the Afghan and Syrian population in Germany, in particular with regard to their forms of organisation and of collective action. Based on these insights, recommendations are to be made as to how these groups’ social participation in Germany can be strengthened and to what extent their civil society engagement could be of relevance to German integration, foreign and development policy.

A policy brief was published in June 2022. More project results will be published in 2023.

Policy Brief (Summary)

New Diaspora? Joint action and transnational networks of Afghan and Syrian communities in Germany


Karoline Popp
on parental leave

Dr Nils Friedrichs
Tel +49 30. 288 86 59 – 15
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