African states, global migration, and transformations in citizenship politics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the past three decades, relations between African emigrants and their home-states have been changing from antagonism to attempts to embrace and structure emigrant behaviors. This transformation in the conception of emigration and citizenship has hardly been interrogated by the growing scholarship on African and global migrations. Three of the most contentious strategies to extend the frontiers of loyalty of otherwise weak African states, namely dual citizenship or dual nationality, the right to vote from overseas, and the right to run for public office by emigrants from foreign locations are explored. Evidence from a wide range of African emigration states suggests that these strategies are neither an embrace of the global trend toward extra-territorialized states and shared citizenship between those at 'home' and others outside the state boundaries, nor are they about national development or diaspora welfare. Instead, they seem to be strategies to tap into emigrant resources to enhance weakened state power. The study interrogates the viability and advisability of emigrant voting and political participation from foreign locations, stressing their tendency to destabilize homeland political power structures, undermine the nurturing of effective diaspora mobilization platforms in both home and host states, and export homeland political practices to diaspora locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-203
Number of pages23
JournalCitizenship Studies
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Citizenship
  • Diaspora
  • Globalization
  • Voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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