Nationalism, Law and Statelessness: Grand Illusions in the Horn of Africa, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Nationalism, Law and Statelessness

Grand Illusions in the Horn of Africa, 1st Edition

By John R. Campbell


224 pages

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Paperback: 9781138928107
pub: 2015-06-09
Hardback: 9780415634939
pub: 2013-07-02
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pub: 2013-07-18
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In 1998 a bloody war erupted in The Horn of Africa between Ethiopia and Eritrea. During the war Ethiopia arrested and expelled 70,000 of its citizens, and stripped another 50,000-plus of their citzenship on the basis of their presumed ethnicity. Nationalism, Law and Statelessness: Grand Illusions in the Horn of Africa examines the events which led up to the war, documents the expulsions and denationalisations that took place and follows the flight of these stateless Ethiopians out of the Horn into Europe.

The core issue examined is the link between sovereignty and statelessness as this plays out in The Horn of Africa and in the West. The book provides a valuable insight into how nations create and perpetuate statelessness, the failure of law, both national and international, to protect and address the plight of stateless persons, and the illusory nature of nationalism, citizenship and human rights in the modern age. The study is one of a very few which examines the problem of statelessness through the accounts of stateless persons themselves.

This book will be of great interest to students and researchers in anthropology, law, politics, African studies and refugee studies as well as professionals and all those interested in stateless persons in the West, including Eritreans, who continue to be denied basic rights.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Nationalism, War and the Illusion of Citizenship 2. War by another Name: National Politics and the Failure of International Diplomacy 3. Flight, Vulnerability and Poverty 4. The Illusion of Refugee in the West 5. The Illusion of Citizenship in Ethiopia: on-going Persecution of ‘Eritreans’ in Eritrea and Ethiopia 6. Vulnerability and Poverty: the ‘Bare Life’ of Failed Asylum Seekers in the West Conclusion: The Power and Indifference of Nation-States and the Illusory Nature of Justice

About the Author

John R. Campbell is a social anthropologist who has undertaken fieldwork/development consultancies in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Botswana and the United Kingdom. He currently teaches anthropology at The School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

About the Series

Routledge Explorations in Development Studies

The series features innovative and original research at the regional and global scale. Its scope extends to scholarly works that take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach.

In terms of theory and method, rather than basing itself on any one orthodoxy, the series draws broadly on the tool kit of the social sciences in general, emphasizing comparison, the analysis of the structure and processes, and the application of qualitative and quantitative methods.

The series welcomes submissions from established authors in the field as well as from junior authors. To submit proposals, please contact the Development Studies Editor, Helena Hurd (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy