On the Durability and the Decomposition of Citizenship: The Social Logics of Forced Return Migration in Cape Verde (2011, Heike Drotbohm, Citizenship Studies 15 (2011): 381-96)

This article explores the impact of deportation, a state practice increasingly applied by European and North American governments, on notions of sociality in transnational social fields. In particular, it concentrates on the dynamics between formal citizenship on the one hand and the moral economies of belonging and membership on the other. Drawing on anthropological fieldwork in Cape Verde, where deportation is producing a new social minority, this article examines the confluence of social and formal legal practices of exercising membership in transnational fields. After summarising the constitutive features of Cape Verdean transnational social formation, the trajectories and perspectives of deportees are highlighted in relation to their family networks, as well as in their encounters with the wider society and state structures. It is argued that understandings of social inclusion and perceptions of membership are embedded in moral discourses on ‘law’ and ‘justice’ as they circulate within transnational social fields. In the context of forced return migration, citizenship emerges as an arena for claiming legitimacy and integration and likewise becomes a key mode of the formulation of conditionalities for integration and social exclusion.