Failure of a National Construction of Belonging: Social Integration of Burkinabe Migrants Displaced from Côte d’Ivoire

in African Diaspora
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Abstract

This case study analyzes how the government of Burkina Faso tried to rhetorically and practically integrate migrants who returned to the country in the wake of the Ivorian civil war in 2002. Their experience of migration and displacement has shaped these migrants’ political subjectivity but not led to the creation of a separate group identity. In Burkina Faso, however, these so-called rapatriés were seen as a homogeneous group and either treated as needy victims of persecution, or, following the current international discourse on migration and development, as particularly enterprising individuals. In describing different political subjectivities amongst the displaced in their interaction with local authorities in the town of Batié in combination with efforts of the administration to implement particular development goals, the article also reflects on Geschiere’s argument, that decentralization and the resulting decline in state power fuels autochthony claims. In the Burkinabe case it is not the absence of the state, but rather its entanglement with local actors that heightens ethnic tensions.

Failure of a National Construction of Belonging: Social Integration of Burkinabe Migrants Displaced from Côte d’Ivoire

in African Diaspora

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References

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