Transnational lived citizenship turns local: Covid-19 and Eritrean and Ethiopian diaspora in Nairobi

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This paper analyses how migrant community practices of transnational lived citizenship were altered by both, COVID-19 and the policy response from the Kenyan government. It is based on interviews with members of the Eritrean and Ethiopian diaspora residing inNairobi. The paper demonstrates how policies introduced because of the pandemic caused migrant communities to lose local and remittance income.
More than the loss of material resources, however, they were impacted by the elimination of social spaces that enable diaspora lives. These two dynamics have intensified a trend that may have been present before the pandemic, a local turn of transnational lived citizenship. By focusing on lived experiences and how they have been re-assessed during the pandemic, the paper argues that transnational lived citizenship is always in flux and can easily become reconfigured as more localized practices. The concept of transnational lived citizenship is demonstrated to be a useful lens for analysing shifting migrant livelihoods and belonging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-119
Number of pages14
JournalGlobal Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Citizenship
  • Belonging
  • diaspora
  • transnational
  • Kenya
  • Urban Africa


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