The Perils of Belonging

The Perils of Belonging

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Despite being told that we now live in a cosmopolitan world, more and more people have begun to assert their identities in ways that are deeply rooted in the local. These claims of autochthonya€”meaning a€œborn from the soila€a€”seek to establish an irrefutable, primordial right to belong and are often employed in politically charged attempts to exclude outsiders. In The Perils of Belonging, Peter Geschiere traces the concept of autochthony back to the classical period and incisively explores the idea in two very different contexts: Cameroon and the Netherlands. In both countries, the momentous economic and political changes following the end of the cold war fostered anxiety over migration. For Cameroonians, the question of who belongs where rises to the fore in political struggles between different tribes, while the Dutch invoke autochthony in fierce debates over the integration of immigrants. This fascinating comparative perspective allows Geschiere to examine the emotional appeal of autochthonya€”as well as its dubious historical basisa€”and to shed light on a range of important issues, such as multiculturalism, national citizenship, and migration.Working paper, World Resources Institute (WRI), Washington, DC. Pandey, Gyanendra. 1990. The Construction of Communalism in Colonial North India. Delhi: Oxford Univ. Press. . 2001. Remembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism, andanbsp;...

Title:The Perils of Belonging
Author: Peter Geschiere
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2009-08-01

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