Recent publication on Certifications of Citizenship by CAS Director, Amanda Hammar – University of Copenhagen

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14 May 2018

Recent publication on Certifications of Citizenship by CAS Director, Amanda Hammar

A recent publication by CAS Director, Amanda Hammar, entitled ‘Certifications of citizenship: reflections through an African lens’ (2018) makes a contribution from an Africanist perspective to an important South Asian special issue of the journal Contemporary South Asia on the theme of Certifications of Citizenship.

50 free eprints of the article are available here.


A focus on certifications of citizenship as a range of inter-related practices of identity classification, categorisation, registration and validation, provides productive opportunities to explore the many ways that different authorities and/or different citizens engage with both the meaning and materiality of identity documents. At the heart of such practices is a complex politics of recognition that in turn is linked to the political economies of certification and of certificates themselves. A selection of African cases helps to highlight some of the paradoxes of certification – its simultaneous openings and closures – while pointing to the relationality of its multiple dimensions, including: the material, symbolic, social, spatial, temporal, demographic, political and institutional. These overlapping dimensions manifest in site-specific ways across different empirical contexts in Africa and Asia and beyond, making transnational conversations especially meaningful for deeper understandings of the complexities of the authority-certification-citizenship nexus.