2: The politics of claim-making and citizenship in the global South

Chairs: Jeremy Gould, University of Jyväskylä (jeremy.j.gould@jyu.fi), Saana Hansen, University of Jyväskylä, and Lalli Metsola, University of Jyväskylä

Time: Friday 17th of February, 13:00-17:30.
Place: House of Sciences and Letters, room 313.

The bundle of entitlements and obligations associated with ‘citizenship’ has never been less self-evident. Especially, but not only, in contemporary Africa, groups and individuals engage in intense, protracted and often violent negotiations with public authorities (cf. Lund 2005) over the recognition of their belonging to a given political community (nation, municipality, neighborhood), and over the rights and services that such belonging can or should entail.

Claims of belonging and the recognition of such claims (by national or municipal governments, by local or international ngos, by formal political institutions or itinerant social networks) are justified by reference to a diverse and seemingly incommensurable mix of factors and vocabularies: i.e., human rights; race and ethnic identity; patronage and political loyalty; cosmopolitan tolerance; abjection and need; and so on. There is, in other words, no clear or unitary logic of inclusion in the political societies (Chatterjee 2011) of the contemporary global south.

This working group invites presentations from researchers involved in examining both the vocabularies and terms of negotiation as well as the empirical struggles over socio-economic and political claim-making in the global South. Presentations may address campaigns for recognition; for the access to services; the construction and mobilization of identities; the political and moral logics of desert and inclusion; etc. Of especial interest are claim-making projects that mix the vocabularies of liberal (individual) rights with other moral logics (blood, culture, faith, and service).

Session 1

13:00 Conveners: Opening words.

13:10 Bonded labour in South Asia and socioeconomic rights: a case study of agricultural bonded labour in India and Nepal. Elena Samonova, University of Helsinki.

13:40 “All the Others Are Third-Class Citizens.” Claiming belonging, countering betrayal in neoliberal Ahmedabad. Jelena Salmi, University of Jyväskylä.

14:10 Institutionalized patronage plays. Negotiating political claims in East Javanese reses meetings. Heikki Wilenius, University of Helsinki.

Session 2

15:30 “Nothing for us without us” – a housing and land rights movement Abahlali baseMjondolo fighting for human dignity in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Kukka Ranta, University of Helsinki.

16:00 Seeking decent belonging and formal recognition: Exploring the dynamics of returnee emplacement in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Saana Hansen, University of Jyväskylä.

16:30 Incremental gains: Residential politics in Windhoek. Lalli Metsola, University of Jyväskylä.

17:00 Claiming-making as/and political reciprocity (comment). Jeremy Gould, University of Jyväskylä.