Simon Turner, associate professor at Aalborg University, will explore how the present Rwandan state relates to and attempts to govern populations who have either left the country or who have returned. He argues that despite an official discourse of national unity and equality, the individual citizen’s position in society depends on his or her migration history, effectively splitting the population into those who remained in Rwanda during the genocide, those who returned from Uganda shortly after the genocide, those who returned from elsewhere after the genocide and those who fled the country after the genocide. In order to understand power and governance in Rwanda, one must understand the role of the genocide. Turner argues that the post-genocide state very explicitly articulates a new public management discourse and can be seen as exercising biopower. This is accentuated by its strong emphasis on distancing itself from the regime that orchestrated the genocide in 1994.

Simon Turner is Associate Professor at Global Refugee Studies, Ålborg University. He works on forced migration, diaspora politics and issues of sovereignty, biopower and secrecy, and has done fieldwork in refugee camps in Tanzania, among the Burundian diaspora in Nairobi, Brussels and Denmark, as well as in Burundi and Rwanda. He is the author of Politics of Innocence – Hutu identity, conflict and camp life, (Berghahn Books, 2010) and has edited a special issue of Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies: 'Studying the Tensions of Transnational Engagement: From the Nuclear Family to the World-Wide Web', (34:7, 2008).

Cathrine Brun, associate professor at NTNU, will act as discussant. Third seminar in a series on Mobilities and Conflict, funded by SAMKUL