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Trials and transformations: the futures of citizenship in Africa 
Kristina Pikovskaia (University of Edinburgh)
Sara Dorman (University of Edinburgh)
Farai Chipato (University of Glasgow)
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Sara Dorman (University of Edinburgh)
Chipo Dendere (Wellesley College)
Zoe Groves (University of Leicester)
Politics and International Relations (x) Futures (y)
Philosophikum, S61
Saturday 3 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

The panel explores transformations in the notions and practices of citizenship in Africa. It focuses on how recent political, economic, and demographic challenges shape the present and the future of the politics and practices of belonging.

Long Abstract:

Citizenship in African countries has been shaped through multiple traumatic and transformational experiences. On the one hand, there have been major political and economic transformations, and liberation movements, decolonisation, deracialisation, and neoliberal economic reforms forever changed the relationship between people with the state. On the other hand, aspects of post-colonial citizenship have been strongly affected by the colonial state. Recent developments, such as growing urbanisation, demographic changes, and the pandemic, added more complexity to post-colonial notions and practices of citizenship and the imagination of a political community. The politics of belonging and nationalism has become increasingly problematic in many countries. Access to resources and economic opportunities has been renegotiated and contested by both governments and social movements. Government restrictions during the pandemic have complicated the spatial and temporal dimensions of membership in a political community. The role of the African diaspora also continues to evolve in shaping notions of citizenship and belonging. How do these changes affect the relationship between people, the government, and local authorities? How are they changing the state-led approaches to citizenship and grassroots practices? How are they different from early post-colonial understandings of citizenship? And what does it mean for the future of citizenship in Africa? This panel explores continuities and ruptures in the ideas and practices of citizenship in urban and rural Africa and tackles challenges of the politics and practices of belonging in the changing political communities. Papers that engage these issues theoretically, methodologically, and empirically are welcome.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Saturday 3 June, 2023, -