Citizenship without Integration: The Case of 1972 Burundian Refugees in Tanzania

Opportuna Kweka


This paper reviews the process of naturalization of 1972 Burundian refugees in Tanzania. It draws from the literature on refugees and citizenship which provides a critique to the argument that integration of refugees begins at the time of their arrival and the neoliberal assumption of “flexible citizenship.” It shows how after 40 years of living in the country and having to meet the requirements for naturalization the refugees still struggled to negotiate for citizenship and are yet to be integrated. The empirical data to support the argument is drawn from observations made by the author in different years between 2003 and 2012 and review of secondary materials such as policies, plans and strategies for naturalization and integration of the 1972 Burundian Refugees in Tanzania. The paper calls for examination of everyday practices which are geared towards access to citizenship in determining local integration.

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