When the diaspora takes charge: state making and diaspora return in Rwanda
Wednesday, 17 February 2016, 1pm to 2pm
Seminar Room 3, ODID, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB
About this presentation
Over the past sixty years, Rwanda has experienced massive population displacements due to ethnic tensions, war and genocide. These movements of populations have in turn caused radical transformations of the political landscape in the country. This presentation explores state and nation building in Rwanda since the genocide when the Tutsi diaspora returned in large numbers and created a state that was meant to be radically different to the pre-genocide state. I argue that the returning diaspora sees the country as virgin soil and that the diaspora itself has a great responsibility to develop the country and prevent it ‘sliding back’ into ‘genocide ideologies’. This creates a new political elite of returnees with a strong ideology of top-down developmentalism. Furthermore, I argue that the Rwandan state is performed – and hence made – through regulating populations according to when and where they moved across the borders.
About the series
This presentation is part of the 2016 IMI Hilary Term seminar series, which seeks to interrogate the relationship between migration, politics and political change.