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Centre of African Studies: Events


Property and Citizenship

Property and Citizenship: Connecting Land Rights and Belonging
Speaker: Christian Lund # Department of Resource Economics and Food Policy, Copenhagen University
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
13th Feb 2013 16:00 - 13th Feb 2013 18:00
Ground Floor, seminar room 2, Chrystal Macmillan Building


Few things are more fundamental in social life or politics than what we have and who we are. Property and citizenship, in the broadest sense, are perhaps the most overt and familiar manifestations of these core dimensions. In urban settings, rights and authorities are particularly at stake in Africa. People congregate in big or small settlements, they migrate and settle in towns and urban peripheries, and both claims to property and citizenship are often precarious.

Moving into cities affects people's identities willy-nilly. They may adopt
a new social identity by concealing their origin or pretending to belong to another group. Yet, in most cases, they will be identified as strangers
with weaker entitlements. In this context, no single institution of public
authority fully controls property and citizenship in urban space; rather, many institutions vie over jurisdiction and authority. Thus, neither authority, nor property or citizenship rights are fully established. It is a constant preoccupation of people who address different institutions in a variety of ways.