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A Black Republic: Citizenship and naturalisation requirements in Liberia


  • Bernadette Ludwig

    () (Department of Sociology, Wagner College, Staten Island, NY 10301, United States)


In 1822 Liberia was founded as a place where free(d) enslaved African Americans could find freedom and liberty. While many of them did, the indigenous African population was, for a long time, excluded from citizenry despite fulfilling one of the essential criteria to be eligible for Liberians citizenship: Being Black. This prerequisite remains part of Liberian law today, rendering non-Blacks ineligible for Liberian citizenship. Today, this mostly affects the Lebanese community who originally came as traders and entrepreneurs to Liberia. This article analyses why Liberians defend race-based exclusionary citizenship practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernadette Ludwig, 2016. "A Black Republic: Citizenship and naturalisation requirements in Liberia," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 13(1), pages 84-99, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:13:y:2016:i:1:p:84-99

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Urquia, Marcelo L. & Frank, John W. & Glazier, Richard H., 2010. "From places to flows. International secondary migration and birth outcomes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(9), pages 1620-1626, November.
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    Race; Citizenship; Liberia; Lebanese; Exclusion;


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