We are delighted to invite you to the first event in the 2023-24 Migration and Diaspora Studies Speakers Series!

Monday, 25 September 2023:

Time: 12pm to 1:30pm

Where: Richcraft Hall, Room 2420R

Format: Hybrid (Link to join the Zoom presentation)

“The Politics of Solutions for Refugees: Lessons from the Naturalization of Rwandese and Burundian Refugees in Tanzania.”

Speaker: Deo Mwapinga, PhD candidate, Department of Political Science, Carleton University


Finding solutions for refugees is a global challenge, with the average duration of a refugee situation now being 20 years. There are three traditional solutions for refugees: repatriation, resettlement in a third country, and integration in their host country. Local integration is seen as the least likely solution, given that the vast majority of the world’s refugees are in the global South, and host countries are reluctant to have new citizens imposed on them. This makes the case of Tanzania all the more interesting, as it has twice given citizenship to large groups of refugees: Rwandese refugees in the 1980s and Burundian refugees in the 2010s. However, the experience of Rwandese refugees has been seen as the most successful. How can this variation be explained? This presentation answers this question by drawing on the results of recent fieldwork in Tanzania and the author’s own positionality as a former Tanzanian government official.


Deo Mwapinga is a PhD student in Political Science at Carleton University. He is also a research assistant, and Tanzania Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN) contributor. In 2014, he was part of the team of officials from the Government of Tanzania that issued citizenship certificates to the former Burundian Refugees in the Old Settlements of Katumba, Mishamo, and Ulyankulu in Tanzania. This remarkable exercise led to his interest in further studying the impact of their new citizenship status they have in daily life. At the heart of his research project is the question of the relationship between their new legal status vis-à-vis membership in the political community and significantly, the perception of in(security) resulting from the out-groups.

Save the date for future events in the Speakers Series* (all on Mondays from 12pm to 1:30pm):

30 October 2023: Ming Tiampo, Carleton University

20 November 2023: Goundo Diarra, Carleton University

22 January 2024: Samer Abboud, Villanova University

12 February 2024: Malini Guha, Carleton University

18 March 2024: Laura Madokoro, Carleton University

*Full details of titles and abstracts for upcoming events to follow shortly.