Drawing on rich oral histories from over two hundred in-depth interviews in West Africa, Europe, and North America, Robtel Neajai Pailey 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, she 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. In this engaging contribution to scholarly and policy debates about citizenship as a continuum of inclusion and exclusion, and development as a process of both amelioration and degeneration, Pailey develops a new model for conceptualising citizenship within the context of crisis-affected states. In doing so, she offers a postcolonial critique of the neoliberal framing of diasporas and donors as the panacea to post-war reconstruction.
Robtel Neajaj Pailey, Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa, Cambridge University Press, 2021.