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Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa

July 14, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

This is a past event. You can access the recording here.

Date/Time: April 14, 2021 – 12pm CT (5pm UTC)

Speaker: Robtel Neajai Pailey


Book cover image courtesy of Chase P. Walker, Liberian visual storyteller.

Does dual citizenship reproduce inequalities? Robtel Neajai Pailey grapples with this question and more in her engaging monograph Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia (Cambridge University Press, 2021). Drawing on rich life histories from over two hundred in-depth interviews in West Africa, Europe, and North America, she examines socio-economic change in Liberia, Africa’s first black republic, through the prism of citizenship. Marking how historical policy changes on citizenship and contemporary public discourse on dual citizenship have impacted development policy and practice, Pailey reveals that as Liberia transformed from a country of immigration to one of emigration, so too did the nature of citizenship, thus influencing claims for and against dual citizenship. Her book develops a new model for conceptualising citizenship within the context of crisis-affected states while offering a compelling critique of the neoliberal framing of diasporas and donors as the panacea to post-war reconstruction. For more information about the book, visit https://bit.ly/30RsW3u and watch this video produced by the LSE Department of Social Policy.

Download the Introduction for FREE here. To order the hardback or e-book, visit www.cambridge.org/9781108836548 and enter the promo code PAILEY20 at checkout for a 20% discount!

Headshot image courtesy of Doris Okenwa, Ph.D.


Robtel Neajai Pailey is Assistant Professor in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. A Liberian scholar-activist working at the intersection of Critical Development Studies, Critical African Studies and Critical Race Studies, she centres her research on how structural transformation is conceived and contested by local, national and transnational actors from ‘crisis’-affected regions of the so-called Global South. Robtel’s current project, Africa’s ‘Negro’ Republics, examines how slavery, colonialism and neoliberalism in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, respectively, have shaped the adoption and maintenance of constitutional clauses barring non-blacks from obtaining citizenship in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Personal website: https://www.robtelneajaipailey.com/
Twitter: @RobtelNeajai


July 14, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm