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JUS TRIBALIS: STATELESSNESS, ETHNICITY AND REGISTRATION IN KENYA

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-21, 03:41 authored by Sam Balaton-ChrimesSam Balaton-Chrimes
Many cases of mass statelessness arise from discrimination against groups. Accordingly, UNHCR and others sometimes pursue group forms of recognition in campaigns to remedy statelessness. In this article, I consider the implications of such an approach by examining its effects in Kenya using the cases of Makonde, Pemba, Shona, Nubian and Gajje’el ethnic communities. I argue that securing citizenship is neither purely political and group-based nor purely legal and individual, but rather they are interdependent; that there are both risks and opportunities in this entanglement; and that the management of both requires attention to a cultivated vagueness that characterises the role of ethnic identity in registration and citizenship in Kenya. I conclude with an argument for more vigilance regarding the use of ethnic identity in citizenship bureaucracy and for caution in the export of this group-based campaigning strategy to other national contexts.

History

Journal

Statelessness and Citizenship Review

Location

Melbourne and Rotterdam

ISSN

2652-1814

eISSN

2652-1814

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

University of Melbourne and Institute for Statelessness and Inclusion

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