Source: Forum for Development Studies
Peter Geschiere, “Autochthony and Citizenship: New Modes in the Struggle over Belonging and Exclusion in Africa” Forum for Development Studies, Volume 32, Issue 2, 2005, pages 371-384
Abtract: In many parts of Africa ‘autochthony’ and similar localist slogans have acquired great mobilising force since the onset of democratisation (1990). However, this phenomenon is of a broader scope. Other factors—like the switch to decentralisation and ‘by-passing the state’ in the policies of the development establishment—add up to what could be called ‘a global conjuncture of belonging’ (Tania Murray Li). Indeed, there are surprising parallels between African examples and discourses on immigrants and exclusion that now prevail in many parts of Europe (where even the same terminology is used of autochthons versus allochthons). The challenge is to understand how similar discourses about belonging can acquire such an apparent self-evidence in highly different situations. One answer might be their strong—but misleading—‘naturalising’ tendencies.
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