(Re)Imagining Belonging in Latin America and Beyond: Access to Citizenship, Digital Identity and Rights
Abstract deadline: 14 May 2021:
Conference: 23 June 2021:
Keynote Speaker: Wendy Hunter (The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts).
Over the next ten years, states will try to provide more than one billion people around the world with evidentiary proof of their legal and digital existence. To achieve this, they are carrying out large-scale registrations in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are ambitious and farreaching in scale, aiming to “provide [a] legal identity for all” by 2030. Our growing dependency on these practices has been couched within a discourse of belonging, social inclusion and the universal right to a legal and, increasingly, digital identity. Policymakers, development specialists and governments therefore broadly assume identification measures, and the digital technologies that support them, to be largely inclusionary.
This conference aims to link global contemporary debates on digital ID systems, citizenship and rights to explore the complex and contradictory ways in which identities exist and are experienced in the Latin American and the Caribbean context. This is to highlight how, in the Americas, identity/identities, race and constructs of belonging are consistently (re)imagined and (re)interpreted. We are particularly interested in the impact of these questions on the lived experiences of Indigenous, Afro-descended, income poor populations and women, many of whom have historically faced widespread discrimination and exclusion from formal citizenship.
This multidisciplinary symposium will encourage dialogue with a wide range of scholars, practitioners and legal specialists. Although we ask that proposals are relevant to the region, we will also be holding an additional global panel to examine international experiences of these themes. Potential topics to consider for papers may include, but are not limited to:
– Historical analysis of colonial/caste/racial systems of categorisation, including slavery, mestizaje and/or blanqueamiento with respect to registrations and state bureaucracies
– The lived experiences of Afro-descended, Indigenous and income poor populations, especially women, of past/present registration systems and civil registries
– Empirical/anthropological/socio-legal research into citizenship, noncitizenship and statelessness particularly in relation to documentation and/or digital ID systems
– Citizenship-stripping practices and/or disputes over access to an identity
– Research on legal identity, digital ID systems and/or biometrics
– The implications of registrations for social policy, social protection, the welfare state and financial inclusion
– Birth registrations and the right to an identity as conceptualised within international development policy
– Diasporic experiences of registration practices