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Beyond the Eurocentrism of immigration ethics: Tanzania and pan-African Ujamaa

Beyond the Eurocentrism of immigration ethics: Tanzania and pan-African Ujamaa Immigration ethics debates remain deeply Eurocentric in their assumptions and focus. Due to the dominance of a universalising, liberal perspective, the thought and experience of the global south continues to be excluded, except as ‘senders’ or ‘transiters’ of people. Not only does the debate thereby misrepresent the majority of the world, it also necessarily excludes that majority from having anything useful to say about ethical approaches to immigration. In this way, it offers a partial, parochial, local theory that mischaracterises itself as international and universal. By making common cause with decolonising approaches from Latin America, this article seeks to challenge this Eurocentrism by drawing on an example of African immigration ethics: postcolonial Tanzania’s ‘open door’ era. Here, the combination of the OAU’s expanded definition of a refugee, alongside the ‘traditional’ indigenous values of Julius Nyerere’s pan-Africanism and native socialism (ujamaa), made for a generous, if highly restricted welcome for hundreds of thousands of people. This reveals the need for immigration ethics to dispense with the search for ‘universal’ norms that are limiting and exclusionary. Instead, it should explore pluriversality: the importance of local, creative, relational responses to mobile populations that are ongoing in the global south. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of International Political Theory SAGE

Beyond the Eurocentrism of immigration ethics: Tanzania and pan-African Ujamaa

Journal of International Political Theory , Volume OnlineFirst: 1 – Jan 1, 2023

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References (44)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2023
ISSN
1755-0882
eISSN
1755-1722
DOI
10.1177/17550882231208076
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Immigration ethics debates remain deeply Eurocentric in their assumptions and focus. Due to the dominance of a universalising, liberal perspective, the thought and experience of the global south continues to be excluded, except as ‘senders’ or ‘transiters’ of people. Not only does the debate thereby misrepresent the majority of the world, it also necessarily excludes that majority from having anything useful to say about ethical approaches to immigration. In this way, it offers a partial, parochial, local theory that mischaracterises itself as international and universal. By making common cause with decolonising approaches from Latin America, this article seeks to challenge this Eurocentrism by drawing on an example of African immigration ethics: postcolonial Tanzania’s ‘open door’ era. Here, the combination of the OAU’s expanded definition of a refugee, alongside the ‘traditional’ indigenous values of Julius Nyerere’s pan-Africanism and native socialism (ujamaa), made for a generous, if highly restricted welcome for hundreds of thousands of people. This reveals the need for immigration ethics to dispense with the search for ‘universal’ norms that are limiting and exclusionary. Instead, it should explore pluriversality: the importance of local, creative, relational responses to mobile populations that are ongoing in the global south.

Journal

Journal of International Political TheorySAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2023

Keywords: decolonial; Eurocentrism; immigration ethics; pluriversal; Tanzania

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