Senior Research Officer Robtel Neajai Pailey will give the first presentation in IMI's new seminar series which begins on 27 April. In a talk titled Birthplace, bloodline and beyond: How "Liberian citizenship" is currently constructed in Liberia and abroad Robtel will discuss, based on empirical fieldwork, whether or not an ‘authentic’ Liberian citizen actually exists. This work is based on Robtel's PhD thesis, which she completed at SOAS in 2014.
Last week Robtel presented her research at the University of Liberia in Monrovia, where she has also been carrying out fieldwork for her current research project, Migrants in countries in crisis. This EU-funded project aims to explore what happens to migrants who leave their countries of origin, go to a destination country and get caught in a crisis situation - for example conflict or natural disaster - in that destination country, subsequently either having to return to their country or go to a third country. The research project aims to provide empirical analysis to inform international policy around what kind of protections are required to protect these migrants, who do not currently have international protection, and to give states the capacity to respond to migrant returns.
Robtel was subsequently interviewed about her research by Mamadee Diakite, one of Liberia's most prominent broadcasters.