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Historia

On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X

Abstract

MOLOSIWA, Phuthego Phuthego  and  BOLAANE, Maitseo M.M.. "A peaceful country": Refugees, masculinities and anti-radical national identity in early postcolonial Botswana. Historia [online]. 2021, vol.66, n.2, pp.48-73. ISSN 2309-8392.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-8392/2021/v66n2a3.

Here, we tell the story of early postcolonial Botswana's struggles to refine its citizenship model in the midst of a hostile political environment between the 1960s and 1980s. While being one of the "most peaceful" countries in the region at the time, and in order to stem the tide of militant immigrants, the majority of whom were men, Botswana opted to narrow its citizenship model. Many refugees and exiles were denied citizenship because their "radical masculinities" appeared to present a threat to the existing peace in the country. The article deals with the important question of how Botswana's historically rooted, patriarchal gender regime influenced the country's refashioning of its citizenship model against the backdrop of the influx of exiles and refugees of wars of independence. We draw largely from existing scholarship on Botswana's role in the liberation struggle. In addition, the extant refugees archive, letters to the editor of the Kutlwano magazine, Seretse Khama's speeches and the Botswana Citizenship Act of 1982/1984 provide primary accounts of how the government and the public attempted to develop and achieve a peaceful, anti-radical national identity during this tumultuous period.

Keywords : Botswana; citizenship; masculinities; refugees; liberation struggle.

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