Intercontinental Netizenship: Digitisation of political transnationalism of Europe-based African migrants against homeland authoritarianism

This paper seeks to understand the digitisation of transnational political activities of Europe-based African migrants, using internet as a political tool to fight against homeland authoritarian practices from abroad. It does so by investigating how Europe-based Congolese migrants put their transnational political practices on digital platforms to mobilise against what they perceive to be authoritarian practices back home. Nowadays, remittances are no longer the only contribution of African migrants toward their countries of origin from the diaspora. Whether in person or online, African migrants have become much more involved in transnational political activities to counter or shape and influence their homeland governance systems. Drawing on the notions of internet politics, political transnationalism of migrants and digital governance, this paper reviews political regimes and the digital space in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 1990 to 2019; the period marking both the democratic transition, the decline of democracy and the emergence of netizenship and internet activism. These have triggered Europe-based Congolese migrants to devise intercontinental digital strategies to demand homeland democratic change from abroad. Based on qualitative desktop review and content analysis, this paper has identified different kinds of transnational digital strategies exhibited by Europe-based Congolese migrants during their digital engagement against what they perceived to be homeland authoritarian practices from abroad.
African Governance, Digital Age, Intercontinental netizenship, Digital governance, Political transnationalism, Authoritarianism, Europe-based Congolese migrants