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Citizenship Matters: Explorations into the Citizen-State Relationship in Africa
The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8439-8148
The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3114-4018
The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0481-5250
The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit. The Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8416-2642
2023 (English)In: Forum for Development Studies, ISSN 0803-9410, E-ISSN 1891-1765, Vol. 50, no 1, p. 35-58Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Citizenship is a universal legal concept and norm. But its meaning and impact differ. Its codification and implementation are shaped by historical trajectories, political systems and state/government relations with members of society. State policy affects perceptions of citizenship and civic behaviour by those governed. This paper engages with current challenges relating to citizenship in Africa South of the Sahara. It centres on academic and policy discussions on citizenship but also draws on media reports and secondary literature to explore whether promoting and embracing a positive notion of citizenship can be an opportunity for states and governments as well as citizens. Could civic education be considered a worthwhile investment in social stability and a shared identification with the common good? We conclude by making a case for a social contract, which reconciles particularistic identities (such as ethnicity) with citizenship and governance under the rule of law as an investment into enhanced trust in a citizen-state relationship.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 50, no 1, p. 35-58
Keywords [en]
Citizenship, Social contract, Governance, State, Civil society
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-2734DOI: 10.1080/08039410.2022.2145992OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nai-2734DiVA, id: diva2:1721611
Available from: 2022-12-22 Created: 2022-12-22 Last updated: 2023-08-28Bibliographically approved

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Melber, HenningBjarnesen, JesperLanzano, CristianoMususa, Patience
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CiteExportLink to record
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