ABSTRACT

While responses in 2006 reveal that in some cases ‘identities of citizenship’ may extend to those who lack both property and formal status, the contradiction of 2008 suggests that in other cases property may remain a critical dividing line. A ‘history of citizenship’ that is specifi c and located (Kabeer 2002) is once again an important part of this story and, having examined identities of citizenship in the camps, I will analyse the distinctive relationship between property and citizenship that has emerged over time. The use of property as a state technology of ethno-nationalism has continuing infl uence in the camps of Dhaka and Saidpur today, but ‘formal’ civil exclusion as a result of camp residence is only one part of this story. The continuing possibility of eviction from these spaces in the light of ‘formal’ civil inclusion is another, revealing the paradox in which ‘campdwellers’ are currently located. During fi eldwork in 2006, the right to protection from eviction was thought to be dependent on the security of a formal civil status that ‘camp-dwellers’ lacked and, consequently, the threat of eviction was keenly felt. In 2008 and 2009, when they were now in possession of that status, the protection of their camp properties was thought to be compatible only with the ‘special status’ of ‘statelessness’ and the threat of eviction was intensifi ed further. Citizens or not, therefore, informal settlement may have denied them rights either way.