Diaspora citizenship in practice: Identity, belonging and transnational civic activism amongst Zimbabweans in the UK

Thabani Golden Mutambasere*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article develops the notion of diaspora citizenship to analyse domains of transnational action by Zimbabwean migrants in the UK by focussing on their political and civic practices. I argue that diaspora citizenship is enmeshed with a sense of belonging and active practices of civic engagement in both host and homeland. A transnational lens allows us to look at how diasporic citizenship can provide a banner of mobilisation, not just for undocumented or irregular migrants in relation to rights in countries of settlement, but also for a range of diasporic activists whose formal citizenship is not fully recognised in countries of origin. Diaspora citizenship therefore becomes a recognisable sphere of practice in both the hostland and homeland. The article draws on interviews conducted in the UK and Zimbabwe and follows a multi-sited methodology that entailed tracing and assessing UK-based diaspora groups’ transnational networks and activities in Zimbabwe. The article therefore contributes to broader theoretical debates about citizenship and diaspora by exploring the potential utility of the concept of diaspora citizenship.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Early online date10 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 May 2021

Keywords

  • activism
  • belonging
  • citizenship
  • diaspora
  • Zimbabwe

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