Negotiating a Space of Belonging: A Case Study from the Zambia-Angolan Borderlands

  • Oliver Bakewell
Part of the Global Diversities book series (GLODIV)


Through a case study of Angolans settled in north-west Zambia, this chapter explores the gap between the formal regulatory environment that prohibits the integration of refugees and its local articulation that delivers precisely the opposite. Those who arrived as Angolan refugees have established a durable space of belonging, with a sustained welcome from local villagers, which has proved robust in the face of the government’s repatriation programme. The chapter shows how the underlying patterns of mobility, cross-border livelihoods and the sense of belonging have a continuity which is little affected by the vagaries of refugee policy defined by distant governments. This is not a story of resistance but one of local adaptation and reinterpretation of the law enabling former refugees effectively to become Zambian citizens.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Bakewell
    • 1
  1. 1.Global Development InstituteUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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