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Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa: Coethnic Strangers, Claire L Adida

Reviewed by Matthew I. Mitchell

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The growing concern surrounding irregular migration into Europe and North America raises questions about the cultural, economic, and political capacity of these regions to absorb ever-increasing numbers of migrants from the Global South. Moreover, it underscores the fundamental challenges of peacefully integrating migrants. Often forgotten, however, is that the majority of migrants move within the Global South—often inside the borders of their own countries. Therefore, questions around the capacity of host countries to successfully integrate migrants remain, first and foremost, of concern to countries beyond the shores of Europe and North America.

Claire L. Adida offers a much-welcomed and groundbreaking analysis of the migration–conflict nexus in one of the world’s most mobile regions. In so doing, Adida casts her analytical lens on West Africa to explore the mechanisms that give rise to exclusionary politics and migrant insecurity in urban contexts. This analysis integrates findings from intensive fieldwork in three of the region’s capital cities (Accra, Cotonou, and Niamey). Drawing on extensive interviews, survey data, and statistical analysis, Adida advances a compelling and counterintuitive argument: cultural similarities between hosts and migrants often serve to fuel tensions between these groups rather than create c

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