Claire Adida – Immigrant Exclusion in Africa

 

Seminar to be held on Tuesday, January 10th in ERC 115 at 12:30 pm.

What explains immigrant exclusion in urban West Africa? Africa scholars have long recognized the dynamic and political nature of citizenship in Africa. Immigration scholars have long debated the determinants of immigrant exclusion in industrialized democracies. But we know very little about the character of immigrant exclusion in Africa. This research contributes to our understanding of immigrant insecurity in the developing world by comparing and explaining the fates of two immigrant ethnic groups – the Nigerian Yorubas and Hausas – in three West African cities: Accra, Cotonou and Niamey. Relying on surveys of immigrants and their host populations, as well as interviews with local community leaders, it finds that, in environments lacking a formal-legal path to citizenship, the immigrant experience is shaped by local actors who benefit from immigrant insecurity and vulnerability. Consequently, cultural similarities between immigrants and hosts do not necessarily improve immigrant integration; they may, in fact, exacerbate exclusion.

Claire Adida is an assistant professor in the department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University in 2010. Her research is in Comparative Politics, and more specifically in the study of ethnicity and identity, government and non-state provision of public goods, inter-group cooperation and violence, and trust and informal institutions. Her work has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and in Comparative Political Studies. She is completing a book manuscript on Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa, where she offers one of the first systematic analyses of the immigrant experience in a region that experiences large flows of voluntary migration.

* Light refreshments will be provided