May 2008 Violence Against Foreign Nationals in South Africa

Written by Jean Pierre Misago, Tamlyn Monson, Tara Polzer and Loren Landau this article contains empirical research in relation to the violence almost immediately, and has sought to illuminate different aspects of the violence – from identifying underlying causes and triggers to evaluating protection, humanitarian and justice interventions and responses during and after the crisis. This report brings together the outcomes of these various research endeavors to provide a comprehensive, easily accessible reference point about what has come to be called South Africa’s ‘xenophobic attacks.’

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Tactical Cosmopolitanism and Idioms of Belonging: Insertion and Self-Exclusion in Johannesburg

Research amongst immigrant groups in Johannesburg points to the emergence of distinctive ways of negotiating inclusion and belonging that transcend ethnic, national or transnational paradigms. Confronted with new South African nationalism, a restrictive immigration regime and xenophobia, immigrants have reacted with what we term tactical cosmopolitanism’ to negotiate partial inclusion in South Africa’s transforming society without becoming bounded by it. This paper written by Loren B. Landau & Iriann Freemantle, contributes to the emerging literature on cosmopolitanism ‘from below’, conceptualized not as a philosophy but as a practice and form of experiential culture.

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Loving the Alien? Citizenship, Law, and the Future in South Africa’s Demonic Society

This article written by Loren B. Landau makes sense of the violence with reference to an extended history of South African statecraft that both induced the conflict and hamstrung efforts to address it. It is further discussed that political leaders now face a dilemma of extending legal identities and constitutionally promised protections to outsiders and other foreigners risks being seen as betraying the national project by the demonic and visibly violent society they have helped create.

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Xenowatch is a tool to monitor xenophobic threats and violence across South Africa.
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