Institute of African Studies - Columbia University

The Arts of Citizenship in Africa

“The Arts of Citizenship in Africa” is a JASP research initiative.

Citizenship in its various forms, modes and languages of expressions is currently at the heart of many political crisis on the continent: Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, among others, are divided and weakened by political and social tensions about the very content of citizenship. Identity, autochthony and national belonging, are producing heated debates in most African societies.

In this project, we aim to shed new lights on the citizenship practices at the grassroots level, adding therefore new knowledge to a body of scholarship and policy-oriented knowledge that focuses on institutions and institutional change. Three following sub-projects have been launched with PUF support:

(2) Youth and Social movements;
(3) Public spaces, urban politics, and new civilities.
A comparative reflection on the historical and imaginary foundations of citizenship and the public sphere in Africa dominates our agenda.