Empirical understandings of informal citizenship and membership: internally displaced persons in the Democratic Republic Of Congo,
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Citizenship Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13621025.2021.1994923
In the last two decades, empirical scholars have asserted that citizenship may include memberships in political communities other than the nation-state. This paper is based on fieldwork (2015–2017) on the rights of Internally Displaced Persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It provides an empirically grounded analysis of the multiple political communities in which forced migrants take part and how membership in these communities helps them to claim fundamental rights, which the state is unable to provide. We outline various pre-displacement and post-displacement memberships, and show that they have different participation requirements, leading to varying levels of integration of people who are displaced from their communities of origin. The paper provides a methodological contribution to critical approaches to studying citizenship and informal political communities. It also contributes to well-informed policy-making in the humanitarian aid context of Eastern Congo.
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