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Citizenship, Belonging and Political Community in Africa

Cambridge/Africa Collaborative Programme 2011-2012

Citizenship, Belonging and Political Community in Africa

With support from the Leverhulme Trust and the Isaac Newton Trust

Convened by Dr Emma Hunter

As demonstrated by the battles over inclusion and exclusion which have animated recent elections in Africa, struggles over citizenship are increasingly central to African political life. Yet though engagement with the concept of citizenship often privileges its character as a legal category relating the individual to the territorial nation-state, citizenship can also be historicised as simply one prominent conceptualisation amongst others of “belonging” to a political community, and so as part of a wider set of frameworks through which shifting and competing modes of political life have found articulation. Thinking historically and comparatively about citizenship and belonging calls for a reconsideration of important themes in African history and politics, including nationalism and ethnic identity, vocabularies of political accountability and claim-making, the limits and possibilities of liberal thought, and the relationship between individual and community. The theme of the 2011-12 Fellowship programme will allow scholars from a variety of disciplines to explore issues related to the nature of citizenship, belonging, and political community in Africa, both in the past and in the present.


Elected Fellows

Dr Solomon Gofie
Department of Political Science and International Relations, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
The State and the ‘Peoples’ in Post-Derge Ethiopia:  Rethinking Political Community in the Horn of Africa

Dr Victor Adefemi Isumonah
Department of Politics, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
The Ethnic Language of Rights and the Nigerian Political Community

Dr Mailika Rebai Maamri
Senior Lecturer in Political Science, National School of Higher Education, Algeria
Citizenship and Fractured National Identity in Algeria

Dr Ramola Ramtohul
Lecturer in Sociology and Gender Studies, University of Mauritius
The interplay of pluralism and gendered politics:  An analysis of the Mauritian scenario

Dr Nicole Ulich
Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research (WISER), Witwatersrand, South Africa
Underclass Imaginations of Freedom and Political Action in the Cape of Good Hope During the Age of Revolution and War (1770 - 1815)


Call for Papers: Paper proposals are invited for an AEGIS thematic conference on the theme of ‘Citizenship, Belonging and Political Community in Africa’ in association with the 2011-12 Cambridge/Africa Collaborative Research Programme. The conference will take place at Newnham College, Cambridge on 15th March 2012. The deadline for submitting paper proposals is 15 January 2012, and panels will be confirmed by 22 January 2012.
The conference takes the theme of ‘citizenship’, broadly defined, as a means by which to explore key themes in Africa’s history and contemporary politics. As demonstrated by the battles over inclusion and exclusion which have animated recent elections in Africa, struggles over citizenship are increasingly central to African political life. Yet though engagement with the concept of citizenship often privileges its character as a legal category relating the individual to the territorial nation-state, citizenship can also be historicised as simply one prominent conceptualisation amongst others of “belonging” to a political community, and so as part of a wider set of frameworks through which shifting and competing modes of political life have found articulation. Thinking historically and comparatively about citizenship and belonging calls for a reconsideration of important themes in African history and politics, including nationalism and ethnic identity, vocabularies of political accountability and claim-making, the limits and possibilities of liberal thought, and the relationship between individual and community.
Paper proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • Citizens and Strangers: Defining the boundaries of citizenship in Africa past and present
  • Citizens and Subjects: colonial regimes of citizenship
  • The nationalist citizen in post-colonial Africa
  • Citizenship and liberal thought
  • Citizenship as a language of claim-making

For more information, please contact Emma Hunter (elh35 @ cam.ac.uk). Potential contributors may
also be interested in a conference taking place in Cambridge on 16 and 17 March 2012, ‘Languages
of Citizenship in Translation: Conversations across Africa and the Indian Ocean’. Details on the
CRASSH website: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/1705/


Citizenship, Belonging and Political Community in Africa Workshop, Cambridge

15 & 16 March 2012, Lucia Windsor Room, Newnham College

Programme

Panel 1: Intersecting Identities and Competing Citizenships

Chair: Dr Abdul Raufu Mustapha (University of Oxford)

  • Ramola Ramtohul (Visiting Fellow, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge),Intersectionality and Women’s Political Citizenship
  • Aidan Russell (PhD Candidate, University of Oxford),Belonging to a non-ethnic state, Burundi in the 1960s

Panel 2: Present Political Authorities, Future Political Communities

Chair: Dr Lovise Aalen (Bergen University/University of Oxford)

  • Solomon M. Gofie (Visiting Fellow, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge), The State and the ‘Peoples’ in the Post Derg Ethiopia: the Future of political community in Africa
  • Anders Sjögren (University of Stockholm), “A mad scramble”, the politics of land, belonging and citizenship in post-war Acholi region, northern Uganda

Panel 3: The Making of the Model Citizen

Chair: Dr Florence Brisset-Foucault (University of Cambridge)

  • Malika Rebai Maamri (Visiting Fellow, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge), State-Building Nationalism and the Sociology of Identity in Algeria
  • Ridwan Osman (PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge), Citizenship and National Identity in a Highly-Divided Clan-Based Society: The Case of Somaliland

Panel 4: Social and Spatial Scales of Citizenship

Chair: Dr Emma Hunter, University of Cambridge

  • Geert Castryck (University of Leipzig), Mapping citizenship: spaces of political agency and belonging at Lake Tanganyika
  • Adefemi Isumonah (Visiting Fellow, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge), The Ethnic Language of Rights and the Nigerian Political Community
  • Nicole Ulrich (Visiting Fellow, Centre of African Studies, University of Cambridge ), From Servants to British Subjects: ‘citizenship’, labour and the making of modern imperialism in the Cape of Good Hope, 1652-1815

Professor Christopher Clapham (University of Cambridge)

Closing Remarks


Citizenship, Belonging and Political Community in Africa Conference, Nairobi

11 July 2012, British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

Programme

Introduction and Keynote Lecture

Prof Edmond J. Keller, Identity, Citizenship and Social Conflict in Africa

Panel I: Citizenship and Political Community in Africa

  • Solomon Gofie, The State and the ‘Peoples’ in the Post Derg Ethiopia: the Future of political community in Africa
  • Adefemi Isumonah, The Ethnic Language of Rights and the Nigerian Political Community
  • Akoko Akech, Re-stating the Ideological Bases of Kenya’s Political Identities and Communities

Panel II: Citizenship, Electoral Politics and the State I

  • Ramola Ramtohul, Intersectionality and Women’s Political Citizenship: the case of Mauritius
  • Warigia Bowman, Ideology, Politics and the Discourse of Tribe in Kenya
  • Sheila Bunwaree, Deconstructing Identity and Ethnicity: Belonging and Citizenship under the Mauritian Sky

Panel III: Citizenship, Electoral Politics and the State II

  • Malika Rebai Maamri, Reframing Citizenship in Algeria
  • Charles Amone, Identity, Citizenship and Belonging in the Politics of Uganda, 1962 to 2012
  • Godwin Murunga, Choice Matters: Elections, Violence and the Construction of Political Community in Kenya

Panel IV: Borders, Boundaries and the Limits of Inclusion

  • Hassan Mwakimako, “Wenyeji”, Debating Citizenship in Colonial Mombasa
  • Tara Polzer-Ngwato, Boundedness and Inclusion? Conceptions and Uses of Citizenship at the Margins of the State. The case of the South African-Mozambican borderland
  • Marie-Aude Fouéré, Julius Nyerere in Zanzibar: morality, belonging and citizenship in the negative

Panel V: Social Histories of Citizenship I

  • Nicole Ulrich, From Servants to British Subjects: 'citizenship’, labour and the making of modern imperialism in the Cape of Good Hope, 1652-1815
  • Derek Peterson, The Politics of Moral Reform in Northwestern Tanganyika
  • Daniel Ostendorff, Reclaiming Family in African Historical Study

VI: Social Histories of Citizenship II

  • Andrea Scheibler, The Formalisation of Middle Class Sociality in Nairobi
  • Misha Mintz-Roth, Trading identities: Gazettes, weddings and merchant rituals in ‘Indian’ East African life, 1905-1923
  • Dominique Connan, "Giving back to society": charity, integrity, civility and the new moral patterns of the Kenyan entrepreneurship

Roundtable Discussion: Citizenship and Contemporary Politics in Africa

Closing Remarks: Professor Eghosa Osaghae, Contested and Inclusive Citizenship: Ethnic Constructions Reconsidered