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Geopolitics of Memory and Transnational Citizenship

Thinking Local Development in a Global South

Series:

Clara Rachel Eybalin Casséus

This book offers new perspectives on transnational citizenship, memory and strategies of development. Beginning with an exploration of belonging and cultural memory, the book turns to a series of case studies in order to examine the ways in which citizens actively engage with their state of origin through narratives of remembrance. In the Haitian case, community engagement is primarily a grassroots movement in spite of the early creation of a Ministry of Haitians Abroad (MHAVE). The Jamaican case, however, differentiates itself by having a top–down structure promoted by an administration that actively seeks to engage Jamaicans abroad by way of solidarity funds. By treating simultaneously two geopolitical entities, Francophonie and the Commonwealth, this study offers a unique, comparative perspective on a complex web of family networks, spiritual bonds and entrepreneurial cross-border practices at the core of a common Caribbean culture of resilience and self-reliance. The findings on the relationship between memory, citizenship and the State challenge the existing assumption that communities abroad become increasingly assimilated into the new society, whereas, in fact, the idea of a transnational citizenship has become increasingly prevalent. This evolution is enhanced by memory, which acts as a powerful dynamic engine to deconstruct citizenship while connecting beyond borders.

CONTENTS: Introduction: A geography of extra-territorial citizenship through memory – Encountering Caribbean memory in a pattern of dependency, independency and interdependency – Decolonial mapping of Haiti and Jamaica: Memory, labour and mobility – Framing Jamaican «community» in imperial landscapes: Citizenship, religious bonds and returns – Beyond French Republicanism? Locating in/visible Haitian spaces – Imagining associative spaces in the French-British setting – Community engagements, solidarity funds and politics of memory – Rearranging the past to present: The spatial dimension of development – Narratives of remembrance and Caribbean lessons in post-earthquake Haiti.