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Project commissioned by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO UK) in partnership with the Foreign Policy Centre we contribute research and insight towards mediating a better understanding of British communities abroad. In view of this, HM’s Government can elaborate and implement a diaspora engagement strategy that responds to Britain’s adapted foreign policy objectives (based on the Integrated Review). 


Our Partnerships

We continue our fruitful partnership with the London-based think tank, the Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) in conducting diaspora research, this time with a focus on British communities abroad, after Brexit. FPC was commissioned to conduct the mapping project in the context of the Integrated Review. Based on our expertise we were invited to contribute.


Following the successful implementation of our previous research, Understanding the Romanian Diaspora in the UK we contributed to this momentous mapping exercise of British communities living and working abroad. In the context of a government wide Integrated Review process we argued for deeper, more strategic diaspora engagement on Britain’s part. In conducting the research we liaised with UK diaspora organisations, as well as expats in Brussels and Washington DC, two powerhouses at the heart of global decision-making.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

One of the questions and policy trajectories we explored was: How can Global Britain maximise its impact and influence abroad by using this yet untapped social capital? In arguing for our case we drew comparisons with the institutional practices of other countries in engaging diasporas, and their specific policy outcomes. 

In the spirit of continuity trough this project we grasped the intrinsic value of researching diasporas, comparatively. Having previously worked on Romania’s positioning towards its diaspora, the project helped us understand the approach institutions take to engagement strategies and how prone to change and reform governments truly are.


Research OUTPUT

An extract from the summary (more on the Foreign Policy Centre website) argues that British citizens can become partners in helping the UK achieve its foreign policy goals, as a strategic soft power asset, if that partnership is based on trust and can be shown to be mutually beneficial. The report therefore makes a number of recommendations for the UK Government to:

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019
  • Develop a new UK Strategy for Citizens Abroad, with a dedicated unit at the FCDO and staff in embassies and missions to deliver that strategy, supervised by an identified Minister.
  • Improve information management through a new Customer Relations Management (CRM)  or other system to share information about key networks and retain institutional memory.
  • Reimagine embassies, in part, as a flexible hubs for the British community and businesses.
  • Invest in engagement with the British communities in Brussels and Washington through both professional and social events and activities.
  • Improve online Embassy engagement with the British communities through improved websites, social media presence and regular email newsletters.
  • Deliver on the commitment to end the 15 year cap on overseas voting rights, help people to vote and reconsider Parliamentary representation in the context of House of Lords reform.
  • Enable consular services to better support complex case handling in country.



  • Extracts/ Testimonials from the report. What Britons abroad think about diaspora engagement and why it’s necessary?
  • In the not-so-distant future we hope to explore further and bridge the two diasporas, Romanian and British, drawing upon their livelihoods and experiences abroad, of how they interact and associate, whilst mapping the impact of government decisions on both sides.

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