Can Global Refugee Policy Leverage Durable Solutions? Lessons from Tanzania’s Naturalization of Burundian Refugees

Published: 11/Aug/2014
Source: Journal of Refugee Studies

By James Milner, Journal of Refugee Studies (2014) 27 (4): 553-573. doi: 10.1093/jrs/feu023


When Tanzania announced its willingness to naturalize some of the 220,000 Burundian refugees it had hosted since 1972, this became a test of a new global policy on protracted refugee situations and its ability to leverage durable solutions for refugees. This article examines the impact of global policy on naturalization in Tanzania, and argues that while global policy partially contributed to the formulation and early implementation of Tanzania’s naturalization policy, it has not been able to ensure the full implementation of the policy in light of increased domestic opposition to local integration. In contrast, a range of domestic factors, especially within Tanzanian politics, more fully explain the formulation and uneven implementation of the naturalization policy. As such, the case of Tanzania illustrates the challenges associated with implementing global refugee policy in a domestic context and underscores the importance of ongoing political analysis in the future study and practice of global refugee policy.

Link to journal website.

Themes: Nationality and Refugees
Regions: Tanzania
Year: 2014