A book by 2010 Tutu Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey PhD was awarded this year's Best Book by the African Politics Conference Group (APCG). The award was formally presented in November at the annual meeting of the African Studies Association (USA), of which APCG is an affiliate organisation.  The title of Robtel’s monograph is Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia published by Cambridge University Press.

Each year, the African Politics Conference Group confers five awards to recognize exceptional scholarship in the study of African Politics. The other four awards are: Distinguished Africanist Award, Best Article, Best Graduate Student and Best Dissertation.

The APCG brings together scholars from around the world whose research and professional interests center largely or in part on the study of politics in Africa. The group promotes recognition of the theoretical, empirical, and methodological contributions of its members within professional associations, media, and the general public.

Robtel is a Liberian academic, activist, and author of the award-winning anti-corruption children’s books, Gbagba and Jaadeh!  In her role as Assistant Professor in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, she is conducting research on race, citizenship, 'South-South' migration and development cooperation in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

robtel bookThis, her latest work, draws on rich life histories from over two hundred in-depth interviews in West Africa, Europe, and North America. Robtel examines socio-economic change in Liberia -  Africa’s first black republic - through the prism of citizenship. The book outline explains that as historical policy changes on citizenship and contemporary public discourse on dual citizenship have impacted development policy and practice and Liberia transformed from a country of immigration to one of emigration, so too did the nature of citizenship, thus influencing claims for and against dual citizenship. Her book develops a new model for conceptualising citizenship within the context of crisis-affected states while offering a compelling critique of the neoliberal framing of diasporas and donors as the panacea to post-war reconstruction.

The award announcement is at the APCG site.  The book can be purchased online.

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About AFLI




The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.