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  • 1 Central European University, Budapest
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Building of a yearlong anthropological fieldwork inside the South Sudanese citizenship office, the paper elaborates the topic of the negotiated statehood through an analysis of the flexibility of kinship. As almost nobody in South Sudan posses genuine birth certificates, the new country struggles to verify the citizenship-applicants, and recognise the fraudulent applications. South Sudan introduced an ethnicity and kinship-based system. Each and every applicant has to arrive with a ‘next of kin’, an elder, blood-relative, to verify her life-story. These debates between verification officers and applicants open up a new space for kinship studies. The paper concludes, that nevertheless the continued flexibility of the meaning of kinship these situations cannot be understood without the normative basis of kinship.

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