AEGIS European Conference on African Studies
11 - 14 July 2007
African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
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|Panel 1: View abstracts - Dr. Walter van Beek ; Annette Schmidt|
|Tourism in Africa|
Tourism is an increasingly important phenomenon in the world and also in Africa; at present it is the nr. 1 world industry and still growing. Though partaking in only 4% of world tourist arrivals, African countries are increasingly focusing on tourism as a new source of income. Already, throughout the continent the tourist business provides by far the best investment opportunity for foreign investment, and viewing the assets of Africa, a continued growth of this market is to be expected.
This relatively new phenomenon generates a growing body of literature, to which this panel wants to contribute. Those fleeting encounters between the rich first world and the visited poor in the third world has generated much ideological comment and has been the topic of heated debates. Throughout, evaluations have abounded in the treatment of topics as ‘ethnic tourism’, ‘third world tourism’, ‘alternative destinations’ and the like. Some feel that in this kind of tourism one witnesses a new kind of colonialism, where the hordes of tourists trample over delicate local, authentic and native destinations, ruining the cultures in question. Even when voiced less dramatically, people do experience cultural loss, communities threatened and irrevocably changed, even prostitution of local cultures. Anyway, the discourse on the relationship between ‘hosts’ and ‘guests’ generally has been couched in evaluative terms, trying to discern between positive and negative effects on local populations.
Recent studies show that this picture needs revision. Effects of tourism on local populations seem to be much less dramatic, and anyway more complex. They are shown to be intricately interwoven with processes of change which are already occurring in the various cultures, and are viewed quite differently by the people concerned. Theoretically, the notion of two cultures ‘gazing’ at each other in the tourist encounter has given way to a focus on the intermediate structure that is generated when ‘guests’ meet their ‘hosts’and vice versa, i.e. the ‘tourist bubble’, i.e. those infrastructural arrangements that permit the professional reception of guests – such as hotels, lodges, personnel, logistics – plus those arrangements making the travel of tourists possible: travel agencies in the sending as well as in the host countries, transport facilities, hotel chains and a massive internet information business. It is this bubble that interacts with the guest society, and so it is this bubble that stands central in the dynamics of the tourist encounter.
From this vantage point, the panels will explore the varieties of tourist – host interactions in Africa. The central notion of the colloquium will be that the impact of the tourist bubble (and consequently tourist presence – on local populations depends on various factors: obviously the demographics and ecoomics of the tourist presence are relevant, but also the history of tourism growth, the explicit and implicit reasons for the tourists for their visit (i.e. the types of destinations), their views on the host situation (and the subsequent exchange of images between hosts and guests), the types of travel organizations and finally, the cultural self confidence of the receiving communities. These variables will be explored in various cases, grouped according to the types of destinations.
|Panel 2: View abstracts - Prof. Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi|
|Representation of the African Family of the 21st Century|
During these two decades thereis a certain development of a new approach of intervention intervention in the problems of Africa : working wth and trough Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) that represent in a certain way whaty we commonly call Civil Society. While the latter is growing in terms of willingness and representativity on the grassroots, it is facing at the same time several challenges such as in the domain of relations betwwen the States and NGO, the system of recognition of the Civil Society in general and NGO particulary by States, the system of nominating NGO to a certain donation, collaboration between local NGO's internally and between local and international NGO's, International NGOS and local law and so on. It appears that countries are developping ways to face differently some of the latter querries and that some other neither develop nothing no do not see any challenge in this domain of the 21st century. My panel intends to clarifiy the current situation in African, to harmonize views yet developped and ways to develop civil Society in Africa to contribute to enhancing the initiative and creativity beyond current constraints.
|Panel 3: View abstracts - Prof. Gerald West ; Dr. Beverley Haddad|
|CANCELLED: The role of religious resources in African development praxis|
The African American philosopher, theologian and public intellectual, Cornel West has argued that "Though Marxists have sometimes viewed oppressed people as political or economic agents, they have rarely viewed them as cultural agents. Yet without such a view there can be no adequate conception of the capacity of oppressed people – the capacity to change the world and sustain the change in an emancipatory manner. And without a conception of such capacity, it is impossible to envision, let alone create, a socialist society of freedom and democracy. It is, in part, the European Enlightenment legacy – the inability to believe in the capacities of oppressed people to create cultural products of value and oppositional groups of value – which stands between contemporary Marxism and oppressed people".
Cornel West's analysis here of the intellectual hubris of Marxism could equally be applied to the hubris of 'development' discourse. Development discourse tends to operate with a deficit account of the resources of ordinary Africans. And even when ordinary Africans are granted some form of agency, the religious realm of their cultural capital is generally ignored.
This panel proposal is an attempt to redress this lacunae in development discourse by providing space for both recognition and reflection on the role of religious resources in African development praxis. The crisis of HIV/AIDS in Africa, among other factors, has led to a renewed interest in religious resources and faith based organisations. This panel seeks to provide a platform for some of the work emerging from this recovery of the religious realm to be shared and interrogated.
The religious realm, we argue, far from being an opiate or merely the control of the spiritual realm in the absence of socio-political control, is integral to any holistic and contextual understanding of survival and social transformation in Africa.
|Panel 4: View abstracts - Dr. Íde Corley|
Addressing the question of how psychoanalytic theories might speak about "race," Hortense Spillers gives the term "African Oedipus" to a model of cultural self-formation which recognizes the status of the "father" as a social function rather than a biological genitor ("'All the Things You Could Be by Now if Sigmund Freud's Wife Was Your Mother': Psychoanalysis and Race"). For Spillers, the term "African Oedipus" mediates a sociosymbolic order characterized by shifting specular relations rather than by the fixed hierarchical positions and meanings attributed to the father, the mother and the child within the traditional Freudian model. The term "African Oedipus" is also linked by Spillers with historical experiences and memories of slavery and racism.
This panel invites papers exploring the psychoanalytic dynamics of cultural self-production in Africa and the diaspora. The panel seeks to focus on what may be construed as "private" and "familial" rather than on the broader social effects of mass traumas linked to events like war or forced migrations. In doing so, the panel does not seek to exclude considerations of the effects of social and political events on (either prominent or relatively anonymous) families and persons.
Possible topics might include but are not limited to:
Applications of the work of Frantz Fanon, Marie-Cecile and Edmond Ortigues, Ibrahim Sow and/or Hortense Spillers to specific African cultural texts
Cultural expressions of such paradigms as the "collective phallus" and the "unbeatable ancestor" (the Ortigues/Spillers)
The dynamics of fraternal rivalry
The urban gang as a manifestation of "African" Oedipal confraternity
The effects of "African" Oedipality for women and/or gendered relationships
The psychosocial roles of personal appearance and/or of apparitions in African cultural settings.
|Panel 5: View abstracts - Associate Prof. Fredrik Soderbaum ; Senior Research Fellow Ian Taylor|
|Afro-regions: The Dynamics of Cross-Border Regionalism in Africa|
A large number of ‘micro-regions’ are emerging all over the world. Increasingly micro-regions are becoming cross-border rather than contained within a nation-state, as illustrated by the Euro-regions in Europe, the ‘Tex-Mex’ cross-border region in North America, the growth triangles in Southeast Asia. This is also the case of micro-regions in Africa. This panel takes note of the fact that cross-border regions are considerably less studied than sub-national ones. This panel focuses on the making and unmaking of cross-border regions in Africa, i.e. what are here labelled as “Afro-regions”, such as the Maputo Development Corridor, the Walwis Bay SDI, Ugandan border zones in Great Lakes region, Ethiopia-Eritrea trade corridor, Parrot’s Beak in West Africa. It builds on the conclusion of a recent edited collection with the same title. An important assumption for the papers at the panel is that micro-regions are not givens but constructed. As pointed out by one leading observer, Iver Neumann, “regions are preceded by region-builders”. This means that (just like states) regions are always in the making: constructed and reconstructed through social practice, political economy and, in discourse, by a variety of states, corporations and non-state actors. As a result, there are often a large number of sometimes overlapping and sometimes competing micro-regional actors, strategies, regulatory frameworks and scales. Using a comparative framework, this panel focuses particularly on the region-builders, i.e. those actors who build and make micro-regions and their associated region-building strategies. Key research questions are: for whom, for what purpose and with what consequences the micro-regions are being made and unmade? In essence, who benefits from the Afro-regions and in what ways, and conversely, who does not. There is also a special emphasis on how people on the ground and local communities create their own region-building strategies and how they respond to the region-building strategies of others, primarily the state and corporations.
|Panel 6: View abstracts - Dr. Beacon Mbiba|
|Zimbabwe: Callenges and Opportunities|
The Zimbabwe 'crisis ' that unfolded from about 1996/1997 continues unabated. It divides and even haunts not only Zimbabweans but many in Africa and beyond. The country qualifies to be seen as a theatre where issues of rights, politics, economy, Diaspora, culture, language, health, religion, international relations (such as the rising influence of China in Africa, the inefficacious Zimbabwe Democracy Act of the USA) history and identity are not only contested, but are under transformation. While for some this crisis is an example of all that is bad about Africa, for other it offers opportunities at both intellectual as well as practical development levels. Once again Zimbabwe is a 'terrain of contradictory development ': it challenges prevailing development paradigms and is a case around which both local and global development processes can be exemplified. Panellists will be multidisciplinary and will be asked to draw from and extend ongoing but disparate intellectual and practical initiatives that arise from the Zimbabwe crisis in diverse subjects including topics such as culture and HIV/AIDS Diaspora and entrepreneurship, religion and gender.
|Panel 7: View abstracts - PhD Lyubov Ivanova ; PG Aliou Tounkara|
|Africans In Russia|
we 'd like to offer presentation of different aspects of the problems that Africans face in the Russian Federation. Problems of african refugees, students, citizens of Russia as well as members of their families. With special regard to nowday situation and problems of interactions between the russians and the africans on different levels, especially racial aspect.
L. Ivanova presented her paper on the first AEGIS conference (for her human rights activities check web-site www.africa.smolny.nw.ru ) and author of the book "Africans in Moscow".
A. Tounkara in the president of the only african diaspora organisation "African Union".
L.Ivanova and A. Tounkara both participated in ASWAD conference (African Diaspora conference) in Rio-de-Janeiro, november, 2005.
|Panel 8: View abstracts - Dr. John Campbell|
|Refugees and the Law in Europe|
What treatment can African 'refugees ' expect from European Governments? This panel seeks to bring together studies which examine official immigration policies and the judicial process which assesses refugees applications for asylum in the EC. Papers are invited which look at any of the following issues: (1) the operation of national immigration systems and its impact on refugees; (2) an assessment of whether political reforms to the immigration system have eroded the right of Africans to obtain asylum; (3) issues surrounding the legal representation of refugee claims in immigration courts; (4) the work of key institutions -- e.g. the 'home office ', courts, police and voluntary sector as this impacts on refugee rights; (5) Community responses towards refugees (supportive or hostile); (6) Refugee responses to the changing political climate in Europe (e.g. changing migration strategies, attempts to seek asylum or attempts to live as an illegal 'alien ').
|Panel 9: View abstracts - Dr. Muyiwa Falaiye|
|Setting a New Agenda for African Studies|
It is rather curious that a great majority of the work done on Africa in recent times comes from scholars outside the continent. Perhaps this explains why scholarship about Africa has been turned to a subject of sentimental out pouring, often about trading blames for the station of the black person in the world. Blame trading between the so-called internalists and externalists has been heated but lightless. Granted there is so much to be angry, frustrated and even heartbroken about, considering the situation in Africa, giving up on African Studies will not be a prudent option. If the purpose of scholarship is to make meaning out of human existence and to further enhance the quality of human life, then the method of scholarship should be those that are objectively granted in the selection of the subject matter and rationally warrantable in presentation. If African Studies, as currently carried out by its practitioners has not made meaning out of the existence of African people and has not furthered their quality of life, then, there has to be a new direction and focus for African Studies. This panel is in search of that new academic agenda for African Studies, recognizing the pragmatic-realist need to focus on existential problems and perhaps, return African Studies back to Africa.
This panel offers the opportunity to provide African alternatives to the constraints presented by the current approach to the academic pursuit of African Studies
|Panel 10: View abstracts - Dr. Sara Dorman|
|Theorizing African State Trajectories|
Both comparative political science and international relations engage with the question of the African post-colonial state and state system. Now familiar questions include: is it ‘hard’ or ‘soft’? failing or collapsed? how are African states integrated into the international state system? how are processes of globalization and informalization impacting on state autonomy, durability, and capability?
While much theorising has drawn on the very dramatic examples of state collapse and implosion, alternative trajectories are also visible in state behaviour. This panel proposes to examine the multiple trajectories of state-hood in Africa, with a view towards incorporating ideas about ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ states, and the varied trajectories of state-building projects into preliminary model-building and theorising about the African state in the international system.
|Panel 11: View abstracts - Dr. Bruce Baker ; Dr. Andreas Mehler|
|Alternative policing - new initiatives or established patterns of self-help?|
In recent years both states and donors seem to agree that policing is a key area for human security and an important part of governance programming aimed at sustainable development and poverty eradication. Research on the structure of African policing in general, particularly outside of South Africa, has been minimal. Reform programmes for the state police have rarely been thoroughly evaluated in terms of outcomes, such as crime reduction, successful prosecutions and citizen perception of security. Moreover they fail to address the fundamental issues that resources available to post-conflict states are insufficient to provide crime protection and crime investigation for the whole nation. Thus some analysts have begun examining alternative non-state community-based policing agencies and vigilantes that offer protection at different levels of legality, effectiveness, availability and services. Some have a long history, others have emerged recently as a result of gaps in state provision. Yet these too have not been widely evaluated and their services are only know sketchily.
The panel will bring together researchers whose work has too often been separated, namely those focused on state policing and those who have explored alternative security structures. In a holistic approach to internal security, questions need to be answered about what are the contemporary roles and responsibilities of government and non-state actors in policing. What is the nature and extent of informal in comparison to formal policing? Can alternative non-state policing agencies do what current police programmes are struggling to do, namely, extend the creation of law and order and protection? Are the relationships between policing agencies collaborative or conflictual? What are the tensions arising from legal pluralism and sovereign bodies beyond the state? Is the assumption sustainable that the state can and must reassert its monopoly of legitimate force? The answers to these questions are ones that governments, donors, investors and above all citizens of post-conflict states want to know.
The panel would welcome contributions from a broad range of participants, including researchers and practitioners in policing and security studies, governance, and country specialists that can bring case studies of police reform and non-state policing structures; and those in development studies that evaluate donor security sector reform programmes.
|Panel 12: View abstracts - Dr. Joost Beuving ; Dr. Jens Andersson|
|African entrepreneurs and/in emerging markets: towards a situational understanding of entrepreneurial behaviour?|
While Africa's marginal position within the world economic order is an often stressed fact, understandings of this position are usually framed in general terms, stressing the restrictive trade regimes of developed countries, the lack of foreign direct investment in Africa or the poor (Bretton Woods imposed) economic policies of African governments hampering market (institutional) development. The emergence of new commodity and financial markets across Africa today, seems to counter this image of economic marginality and impossibility. Simultaneously, such emerging markets provide an opportunity to develop novel understandings of economic developments on the continent beyond the aforementioned received wisdoms. This panel seeks to explore emerging markets in contemporary Africa, by zooming in on the actual behaviour of African and non-African entrepreneurs operating in these markets. By thus underscoring the importance of the 'African initiative ' for our understanding of economic transformations, we seek to develop a (comparative) perspective on African entrepreneurship from below. We therefore invite papers on entrepreneurs in Africa from within different social situations.
|Panel 13: View abstracts - Dr. Ferdinand de Jong ; Prof. Michael Rowlands|
|Memory and Heritage in Post-conflict Societies|
In the context of insurgencies, civil war, and state breakdown, Apartheid and the Aids pandemic, Africans increasingly face economic hardship, death, and despair. But however depressing the situation, experiences of loss may yield a longing for restoration and attempts to regain dignity and respect. In this panel we like to examine how nostalgia, memory and heritage contribute to this process of restoration.
Loss is a widely shared experience in the African postcolony, originating in alienation as a result of rapid social change, the destruction of civil war, or more commonly, the failed expectations of modernity. Loss entails nostalgia, a longing for restoration of what is irreversibly lost. While nostalgia at first glance seems to offer solace and little more, it has been shown to contribute to self-reflection and the making of futures. Along similar lines it may be expected that heritage offers the possibility of renewal and re-engagement. Through a variety of means – art, music, masquerading, museums, monuments, literature, architecture, etc. – a reworking of past traumatic experiences can or may be brought about. Such a process is particularly needed in post-conflict societies and a variety of processes is currently under way. Opinions differ about the success of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, but it may yet serve as an example for the production of peace and reconciliation elsewhere.
There is growing interest in the way memory is embodied in bodily gestures, ritual and the senses. However, while the body may be a site for the burial of memories, this panel will consider those technologies of memory that produce reflection and offer the possibility of restoration and re-engagement with the future.
|Panel 14: View abstracts - Dr. Benjamin Soares ; Roman Loimeier|
|New Modes of Sociality in Muslim Africa |
In this panel, we will consider new modes of sociality among Muslims in contemporary Africa. If one considers the dramatic transformations in “Islamic” education across the continent, Muslims’ recent active participation in public spheres, and Muslims’ increased use of new media technologies, it is clear that Muslim communities in Africa are undergoing important changes. Indeed, many African Muslims, both men and women, but particularly the young, seem to be redefining what it means to be Muslim in Africa today. Such changes suggest that some of the conventional ways of apprehending Islam and Muslim communities in Africa seem not only imperfect, but possibly also obsolete. The dichotomy and presumed conflict said to exist between “Sufis” and “Reformists” in Africa is increasingly called into question by a younger generation of Africans whose way of being Muslim bridges such categories. Indeed, many African Muslims seem to practice what Dale Eickelman has called a “generic” Islam of assumed universals. However, new modes of organizing time (leisure, work, and education) and multifaceted interactions with other Muslims and non-Muslims are also helping to change modes of sociality among African Muslims in ways that are not well understood. In this three-part panel, we will explore new and changing modes of sociality among African Muslims and seek papers in the following three main areas:
1. The production and use of texts, the media, and the public sphere in an increasingly globalized world
2. Youth, generational differences, and contested values (e.g., Western modernity, secularism, and pluralism)
3. New ways of being Muslim (e.g., “generic” Islam, post-Islamism, islam mondain, etc.)
|Panel 15: View abstracts - Doctoral research fellow Catrine Christiansen ; Dr. Rijk van Dijk|
|Reconfiguring the Religion-HIV/AIDS connection: challenges and opportunities|
Reconfiguring the religion-HIV/AIDS connection: challenges and opportunities Religion is playing important roles in dealing with HIV/AIDS in Africa, yet systematic research is scarce on the relationships between religion and this contemporary pandemic. This panel explores the ways religious organisations respond to the challenges of HIV/AIDS as well as to the opportunities that have emerged from the individual and societal consequences of the pandemic. The objective of the panel is to understand how and why various forms of religion and religiosity reactively produce coping strategies, moral regimes of identity-formation, modes for the expression of concerns, anxieties, hopes and grief, at the same time as these reconfigure HIV/AIDS pro-actively as offering opportunities of a different nature. Religious organisations may supplement rituals and fellowship with activities funded through trans-national networks and international aid to prevent further spread of HIV, care for infected people, provide ART, and mitigate impact in the lives of affected people. These multi-stranded relationships between religion and HIV/AIDS may significantly alter the functioning and social positioning of religious groups, leaders and communities in everyday situations. The panel invites papers to explore the following four fields of this reconfiguration:The historicity of religion and disease: How different is the relationship between religion and HIV/AIDS from earlier responses to particular diseases? Leprosy is an example, showing how Christianity as well as Islam impacted on the inclusion/exclusion of sufferers, the notion of suffering itself, morality and treatment. How can religious responses to HIV/AIDS be explored in view of historical links between religion and disease?Political economy: The pandemic emerged across Africa during the years of SAP, its related reduction of state-based social services and constant, if not intensifying, poverty levels. These factors have created space for religious groups to provide services and added to the NGO-ization of religion in which international linkages are increasingly relevant. How can the pandemic be viewed as a context providing new opportunities for religious groups?Social organization, local customs, and rights: The disease is used to reinforce religious stances on family and marriage practices including widow inheritance. Religious groups also serve as implementers of national laws such as those that ascribe property rights to individual wives and children rather than lineage kin. What are the implications of changes in the civic functioning of religion and how do they affect the social fabric of everyday life involving social security, kinship and authority? Counselling: Practices of counselling connect religion to HIV/AIDS as a practice of identity-making. Counselling by clerics or co-religionists offers religion access to the individual's intimate social, emotional and moral situation. It produces linkages between the public and the private and it can create new public domains (testimonies, radio-programmes, brochures) and new forms of 'civilizing projects ' as people are made to understand what to disclose and how to speak and act. What kinds of theological and moral interpretations of AIDS, sexuality, the body, and social responsibility are being produced, and how do these compete for truth-claims about such matters in the social domain?
|Panel 16: View abstracts - Prof. Dominique Darbon|
|New ways of managing public administrations in Africa ?|
African public administrations are generally-well known for their weak efficiency and low capacities. A number of studies have pinpointed those administrations as the main cause of underdevelopment in such countries. During the last 20 years they have been targeted to implement successive reforms and transformation schemes sponsored by multilateral organizations as well as bilateral development assistance organisations. A large range of management techniques belonging to different political orientations have been used with unclear results.
It is time to assess the impact of such reforms on public administrations and their actual practices and to identify the types of new and innovative ways of managing public goods, of improving service delivery and public accountability – if any – which have been arisen out of this long period of intensive and changing reform policies.
People are invited to pay a special interest to legal and institutional reforms, to new forms of public management including privatization, ppp, local government and decentralisation, outsourcing…, to new types of administrative practices at national, regional or local levels and to discuss the actual impact of such new techniques on actual administration practices and relations to the general public (citizens). Studies dealing with specific sectors will be much appreciated.
Papers in English, French and Portuguese are most welcomed.
|Panel 17: View abstracts - Prof. Thomas Bierschenk|
|States at work: African public services in comparative perspective|
Convenors: Thomas Bierschenk, Carola Lentz, Mahaman Tidjani Alou
If the institutionalization of power, the local anchoring of central government and the self-limitation of the ruling classes through the codification of law constitute the central characteristics of the modern, Western-type state, then state-formation in Africa is still underway. At the same time, after development discourse was dominated for many years by a “less state”-paradigm, awareness is now growing that sustainable development is not possible without a “sustainable”, i.e. more functional, state. However, there is a striking absence of empirically grounded studies of the day-to-day functioning of African bureaucracies and public services and the professional practices of African civil servants, their relations with the public, etc. There is in fact very little empirical knowledge of the banal, habitual, routinized functioning of what might be called the “real” state. The panel will assemble studies which analyse the “real” workings of states and public services, at both the central and local levels, from an institutional, actor or historical perspective, or their combination. Comparative studies within Africa as well with non-African situations are particularly welcome.
|Panel 18: View abstracts - Associate Prof. Tekeste Negash|
|Education and Social change in Eastern and Southern Africa|
The panel raises several issues that deal with linkages between education, development and social change. The discourse on causal links between education and development, long supplanted by other less authoritative explanations, still remains potent in most Eastern and Southern African societies. Hence, there is a need to demystify (or otherwise seriously scrutinise) the capacity of schools to mould the new generation. Eva Poluha´s contribution to the panel, for instance, stresses that family and peers are strong bearers of traditions of continuity where the school appears to have little chance of counteracting. This is a further development of a theme treated in her last book: Power and continuity: Ethiopia through the eyes of its school children, Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute, 2004. Along the same line but at a higher level of generalisation is Negash´s contribution on the societal implications of an educational system that uses a medium of instruction that is barely understood by teachers and even less by students. Educational systems premised on outdated discourse and carried out in Western languages, and to boot, heavily underfinanced are bound to face serious crisis. The question is whether the term crisis captures the situation of educational systems such that of Ethiopia. The paper (for the panel) would further elaborate the theme of the collapse of an education system taking Ethiopia as a case study as broached in his recent study: Education in Ethiopia, Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute, 2006.
However, irrespective of how an education system is described ( i.e. either in terms of crisis or collapse), its impact on individuals and groups can not be underestimated. Lars Berge´s contribution to the panel is a re-examination of the role of the Swedish and Norwegean religious missions in Kwa-Zulu, Natal at the turn of the 20th century. Missionary education brought about a social revolution where women as the great majority of converts were able to carve out a social space that was undoutedely different and arguably better. In her contribution to the panel, judith Narrowe examines how young gradates from teacher training colleges (the case study is based on Ethiopia) manage issues of modernity and tradition in their daily lives as teachers and citizens. Based on auto-ethnography, this preliminary study has a great potential of providing insights on the impact of education on the lives of single teachers and on interaction with their students. The framing of literacy programmes to promote democratic practices is the contribution of Åsa Wedin to the panel. Inspired by the teachings and philosophy of Paolo Fereire, Wedin explores how literacy practices (with examples from tanzania and Rwamda) can be framed to serve democracy and democratic traditions.
|Panel 19: View abstracts - Prof. Chris Saunders|
|New Perspectives on Liberation in Southern Africa|
This panel will consider new research on the liberation of southern Africa. The following will participate:
Dr Sue Onslow (LSE): Zimbabwe: land and the Lancaster House Settlement
Dr Vladimir Shubin (Institute for African Studies, Moscow): Zimbabwe: the Soviet Dimension
Dr Henning Melber (Dag Hammersjold Foundation): Namibia's Decolonisation: Emancipation Lite?
Dr Ackson Kanduza (Swaziland): Zambia in the Liberation of southern Africa
Dr Chris Saunders (UCT): New research on the transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa
convenor and discussant: Chris Saunders
|Panel 20: View abstracts - Dr. Englert Birgit ; lic. phil. I Daniela Waldburger|
|Popular culture and politics - alternative channels of expression|
This panel is dedicated to the analysis of form and function of political expression in different domains of popular culture such as music, film,
video, fashion, theatre and painting. Popular culture has always been a domain for political articulation, however since the politics of liberalization took off in most parts of Africa the importance of mediums of popular culture has increased tremendously.
Especially the contemporary youth makes creative use of the new channels available in order to voice their opinion and critisism of political but
also social issues.
The papers in this panel should aim to address - among others - the question to what extent popular culture has the potential to influence political discourse - and thus also political change - in a wider sense? We look for papers on any region in Africa which present detailed case studies on the basis of empirical research. Papers which take a comparative perspective - either in a geographical or a historical sense - are especially welcomed.
|Panel 21: View abstracts - Dr. Ulf Vierke ; Juniorprofessor Matthias Krings ; Dr. Markus Verne|
|Visions and Voices from East Africa - Initiatives of cultural production in Past and Present|
The panel deals with cultural production in East Africa ranging from popular arts (addressing local or regional audiences) to modern art (addressing the international modern art market) and contemporary media art. The spectrum of aesthetic forms thereby ranges from live genres and individual works of art to mass mediatized cultural merchandise. Today, local initiatives for the production and promotion of music, dance, literature, theatre, film, sculpture, paintings and the like reflect a vital cultural life in Eastern Africa. But since aesthetic articulation is in itself not a new phenomenon, we also see the co-requisite necessity for research on the history of these initiatives or genres which until now has been more or less neglected. Hence, we also would like to encourage presentations throwing a historical perspective on these initiatives.
In the present, however, the digital age, coming along with an increased affordability of technical equipment for mediatization and mass production, opens up new possibilities for the establishment of local and regional “culture industries” as well as it brings with it new possibilities for the individual artist. Digital media such as CD and VideoCD, for example allow for an accelerated circulation of aestheticized political discourses challenging both, the hegemony of state institutions which in the past controlled cultural policy, and that of globally operating culture industries. At the flip-side of these processes of mass mediatization is the current production of auratic pieces of art which seems to counter the loss of aura and immediacy associated with the remediation of former live genres by digital media, as well as the incorporation of new media in performative arts like dance and theatre.
We especially encourage presentations which take into consideration both aspects of cultural production that is aesthetics and pragmatics and the entanglement of aesthetic expression with the more “profane” technical and social worlds of cultural production and promotion. We would also like to focus on constraints and obstacles to promising initiatives. Digitization for example does not only open up new possibilities, but at the same time embodies serious constraints to these very possibilities; here questions of copyright arise and limitations to marketability caused by piracy. Constraints of some other nature might come from the state, which usually is not involved in this kind of entrepreneurial activity, and whose former monopoly of cultural politics is nowadays seriously challenged. Censorship and other bureaucratic disciplinary measures might limit the creativity of the aspiring cultural entrepreneurs as well as the simple lack of money.
|Panel 22: View abstracts - Lecturer Henri Médard|
|Retour sur les monarchies sacrées en Afrique|
Retour sur les monarchies sacrées en AfriqueCe panel porte sur les monarchies sacrées. Concept général pour Frazer (il parle de divine kingship), le concept de monarchie sacrée a eu tendance à se réduire pour désigner la monarchie africaine par excellence au cours du 20e siècle par opposition implicite (et erronée) aux monarchies européennes et donc à contribuer au déni à l’Afrique de toute modernité. Evans Prichard, très influent dans les milieux anglophones, émet une critique virulente du concept de monarchie divine, à partir de l’exemple des Shilluk du Soudan. Il est moins écouté parmi les francophones où l’on utilise un concept plus large celui de ‘monarchies sacrés’ qui englobe ‘la monarchie divine’ mais ne se réduit pas à elle. En France, des auteurs néo-marxistes, tendance Althusser (Jean Bazin, Emmanuel Terray, Claude Meillassoux…) tentent une déconstruction de l’idée de monarchie sacrée mais avec un succès limité. Ce concept connaît une diffusion importante lorsque le structuralisme est en vogue (Luc De Heusch, Alfred Adler, Jean-Claude Müller, etc.). Les années 1990 sont celles d’un désenchantement brutal et d’une remise en cause. L’approche issue de l’étude a-historique des mythes et des symboles perd de sa magie, notamment auprès des historiens. La pertinence de la distinction entre monarchie religieuse et monarchie politique est fortement critiquée (Mickael Kenny). Ce que nous proposons de faire est de lier approche anthropologique et historique, de revenir sur le thème du sacré et de la monarchie mais sans se laisser emprisonner par la définition de Frazer résumée par Seligman. Il s’agit de s’interroger sur la facette religieuse de la monarchie. En nous appuyant sur l’héritage des historiens médiévistes et modernistes de l’Europe (Bloch, Kantorowicz, Apostolides…) nous désirons quitter un temps a-historique pour montrer les dynamiques et les évolutions parfois très rapides de ce type de système. L’inceste royal, par exemple, mérite une histoire au même titre que la guérison des écrouelles. Il existe une histoire de la sacralisation et de la désacralisation, comme toute idéologie elle est contestée, réappropriée et détournée par les personnes qui sont en contact avec elle. Elle connaît des innovations, des succès et des échecs. Elle est souvent menacée de folklorisation. Il s’agit de traditions réinventées en permanence et pas obligatoirement dans un temps long et ancestral. Certains régimes politiques africains nés de l’indépendance méritent également un questionnement sur leur sphère sacrée et religieuse (Joseph Tonda). Notre panel est ouvert sur toutes les périodes chronologiques, du très ancien au très contemporain, sur le temps long comme sur le temps plus court et sur l’ensemble du continent africain. Ce panel est ouvert aux chercheurs et enseignants chercheurs aguerris comme aux débutants. Le projet regroupe déjà des historiens et des anthropologues, chercheurs et enseignants chercheurs : Henri Médard (Paris I, Buganda), Marie Laure Derat (CNRS, Ethiopie médiéval), Marie Pierre Ballarin (IRD, Madagascar), Gilles Holders (CNRS, Afrique de l’Ouest), Jérome Wilgaux (Université de Nantes, histoire de la parenté), et des étudiants Robin Seignobos (Paris 1, Nubie) Lauriane Moine (Paris 1, Congo Brazzaville). Les contributions peuvent être en anglais comme en français.
|Panel 23: View abstracts - Associate Prof. Eva Evers Rosander ; Associate Prof. Gunilla Bjeren|
|Family Dynamics an Migration: Tensions in Gender and Generation Relations|
This workshop will focus on the tension between gender and generation within the family in the diaspora and the homeland in the context of migration. Such tension is sometimes hidden but can easily generate escalating conflicts on both private and public levels of society.
Gender, generation and generational justice will be analyzed as they are negotiated by groups and individuals in different circumstances such as urban living conditions of children, youth and aged. The theme is wide, embracing papers about gender and generational support systems; legal systems, housing problems and solutions; privatisation and urban governance and urban poverty including different ways to cope with the situation at hand. We think these topics are issues of particular relevance in relation to migration.
One more specific orientation of this workshop will be family law from a gender and age perspective in both local and translocal settings. Legal aspects of the different forms of marriage and divorce which are appearing both in the homeland and in the diaspora will be analyzed and compared. Burning issues within this sensitive field are, just to mention a few, polygamy, repudiation, and custody of children in connection with migration outside Africa. Especially young women are caught by the moral, religious and legal demands of their families to follow the family law of their African homelands, while there exist alternatives of the civil codes in the European host countries, characterized by a more human rights-influenced and secular spirit which may attract the girls more. Tensions and conflicts within this field between husbands and wives and between young girls and brothers, parents and grandparents are frequent.
Another orientation is directed towards family dynamics and migration inside Africa, with an emphasis on gender, generation and work. According to earlier research a focus on women and migration in small urban settings shows interesting gender differences, to be complemented by generational aspects in the study of female work migration in Africa. Here we cannot avoid paying attention to ethnicity as a decisive factor for women’s careers, while ethnic considerations may be of less importance in the European diaspora. Migrant careers will differ according to ethnic group, gender, age and also, not to be forgotten, according to civil status (married/ divorced/ widow).
There remains a bunch of other topics related to the over all theme of this workshop to be dealt with.To explore the dynamcis of the family from a perspective of African migration inside and outside the Africa continent will open up for a deepened understanding of social processses which have earlier to a great extent been overlooked in the study of migration. So a focus on family, gender and generation will hopefully offer us new and stimulating food for thought.
|Panel 24: View abstracts - Prof. Till Förster ; Dr. Kerstin Bauer|
|Trust and the Reconstruction of Society|
This panel will provide insights about the role of social trust in processes of transition from war to peace. It brings together empirical studies from some of the most enduring regional conflicts in Africa. It also aims at a comparison of such analyses in order to foster a more comprehensive understanding of the precarious transition from war to peace.
Many African societies that went through periods of war often experience a state of peace that is at times more violent than what was called war. Peace is often declared by some of the international stakeholders because they cannot afford to acknowledge that their interventions have failed to reduce significantly the level of violence. More often than not, however, the transition from war to peace is a long lingering between times of more and less violence in everyday life. The reasons are obvious: A wide variety of social actors compete in a market where security is a scarce commodity and where, in the absence of any monopoly of power, the state is not much more than one actor among many. Trust in the other depends on experience and expectations that are both rooted in the history of the conflict and on the current evaluation of the other actors. Trust thus is an essential societal resource. Without trusting the other, no social life will be maintained in periods of violent crisis and it will not re-emerge later. In order to reconstruct their livelihood, individual as well as social actors need predictability of their interactions with others. They need to know if and under what circumstances they may trust the other. Trust understood as the predictability of social interaction is a basic precondition of societal life – in particular after periods of crisis.
Social trust has several dimensions:
· First trust in the generalised other, for instance that you are not killed when meeting an unknown person on the road.
· Second trust in already existing relationships, for instance that a patron will offer you protection and other services if you are loyal to him.
· Third trust in rules and institutions, for instance that the civil servant in the local office will render you the service that you have a right to receive.
These three dimensions may be described as ideal types in the Weberian sense. However, they also open a window to the empirical analysis of societal trust in (post-) conflict societies. And they all show that trust is always linked to interactions. We thus assume that action-centred approaches analysing how trust transformed in and after periods of violent crisis will reveal more insight into the reconstruction of societies after war.
|Panel 25: View abstracts - PhD. Marie Gibert ; PhD Sabine Hoehn|
|Regionalisation in Africa: Old Gamble or New Reality?|
The international donor community has for some years now been a firm supporter of regionalisation as a magical solution that could contribute to peace and security, political dialogue and economic prosperity worldwide. The benefits of regional integration are widely acknowledged in a region like Europe, where it has reached its highest level, and many hoped that the model could be reproduced in other regions and bring about the very same benefits.
Observers relied on Africa’s pre-colonial history and on the resilience of the pan-African ideal to suggest that regionalisation was particularly fit to address economic and political issues on the continent. Regional initiatives, often with the help of Western funds, have invested all levels of African societies, from their national institutions to their grassroots. Regional intergovernmental organisations, with different but often overlapping mandates and national memberships, are the rule in Africa. They continue to be actively encouraged by major donors such as the European Union, which is about to conclude new Economic Partnership Agreements with African regional blocks.
Meanwhile, non-governmental organisations, women’s and community associations and professional unions have progressively entered the process initiated by their governments. Their hope is that this move can both increase their national political influence and international visibility and introduce some check-and-balance in a process they find has been essentially monopolised by state elites. Regionalisation in Africa seems to have moved away from a monolithic and state-centred type of evolution towards a more pluralistic and comprehensive one.
This evolution triggers two main questions. First, how is regionalisation implemented and experienced by Africans – governments, civil society organisations and simple citizens alike? Have Western models of regionalisation been strictly applied or flexibly adapted to African realities? This first cluster of questions in fact revolves around the much talked about ‘African ownership’ issue: Is regionalisation an African-owned concept, or has it remained one artificially imposed by the outside, with no real foundation in Africa? The second series of questions revolves around the effectiveness of regionalisation as a solution to security and development problems. How well does regionalisation – applied at all levels, from grassroots to governmental institutions – respond to African needs? How much of a magical solution is it?
The panel will welcome papers based on thematic and/or area case studies, which tackle one or both of these issues and can help draw a nuanced portrait of the now rather hybrid regionalisation processes in Africa.
|Panel 26: View abstracts - Lecturer Mario Zamponi|
|Decentralising power and natural resource control: responses and perspectives|
The decentralisation of political power is widely regarded as a priority of institutional reforms within African countries. Following an international trend towards “de-politicisation” of the debate around the control of political power in the state structure, in recent years decentralisation has been often presented in a technocratic way as instrumental in making the nation-state both more accountable to the “local needs” and more efficient. The reform of local government institutions is considered a key to the promotion of more democratic relations between citizens and their representatives, of efficient service delivery, of sustainable natural resource management and of more effective poverty reduction strategies. At a broader level, decentralisation and the central role of “civil society” have been considered as clear remedies for the “failure” of the state. The political elites in Sub-Saharan Africa have played this card, while, on the other side, have continued to reproduce the state’s central control on local initiatives.
Against the framework of these policies, local responses are presenting alternative perspectives that question the mainstream approaches of the original decentralisation policies at a number of levels: local political accountability, natural resource access and control, livelihood strategies and the nature of community rights.
The panel will present a number of case studies of local responses to the decentralisation policies in order to contribute to the wider debate on the restructuring of local governance, the meaning of empowerment and the nature of social rights.
The participants of the panel are researchers currently engaged in research projects on these matters coming from British and Italian Universities as well as other Institutions such as IIED and FAO.
|Panel 27: View abstracts - Drs. Gerard de Groot|
|CANCELLED: Reconstruction policies in post-conflict situations|
Sub-Sahara Africa is facing many challenges. According to the 2005 ECA Economic Report on Africa, poverty has been unresponsive to economic growth, caused by inadequacy of the growth rate, low labour absorption and inequality in the distribution of opportunities. However, the document remains remarkably silent on the long-term impact of violence and conflict on economic performance. The recovery in economic growth is attributed to macroeconomic management, agricultural performance and donor support. What is euphemistically called the improved political situations in many countries is only mentioned briefly in this report.
This neglect is the more problematic since after more than a decade of experience, reconstruction and stabilization operations are still plagued by persistent failures (Cohen, 2005). While adequate national and international mechanisms have been developed to address some aspects of these interventions--such as conducting elections, coordinating the return of refugees, and privatizing state enterprises--reconstruction and stabilization operations have produced mixed results.
Moreover, the list of recent conflicts in SSA is still long and worrisome. The International Crisis Group mentions 14 countries:
- Western Africa: Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone
- Horn of Africa: Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea
- Central Africa: DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda
- Southern Africa: Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe
On average, these countries show lower GDP growth rates than SSA as a whole, but country variations are significant. This is in line with the Collier-Hoeffler model, according to which the appropriate policy for peace in post-conflict situations is highly context-specific. Three policy dependent risk factors are identified in this model: the extent of natural resource rents, the lack of alternative economic opportunities and ethnic dominance as a characteristic of society. However, this model explains only 30% of the variation in conflict experience.
Experience from Eritrea (Tewolde, 2002) shows that the timing, pace and extent of economic liberalisation was incompatible with the weak capabilities of the firms. What in normal circumstances can be considered to be sound macro economic policies can therefore be ineffective or even counterproductive in a post-conflict setting.
In short, there is still considerable uncertainty about the specific contents of sound post-conflict policies. Conflict resolution and reconstruction are multidisciplinary concepts. We welcome contributions from different disciplines, with a special emphasis on economics in view of the fact that this discipline has been underrepresented at AEGIS conferences in the past.
In this panel session we want to explore several issues:
a. Further define the context-specific circumstances in which post-conflict policies take shape. We welcome country papers spread over the different African regions mentioned before.
b. Which approaches to (economic) reconstruction can be considered to have been successful and offer –given their context-specific character- lessons for other situations?
c. Is it possible to come up with alternatives for present post-conflict policies and to identify agents that can support/enforce these alternatives?
|Panel 28: View abstracts - Dr. Dorte Thorsen ; Prof. Ann Whitehead|
|Generations of Migrants in West Africa|
The pervasive focus in current migration discussions is on movement into Europe and policy-makers’ attempts to thwart the immigration of unskilled labour while invoking moral justifications for preferential visa schemes to attract particular groups of professionals. This panel seeks to shift the attention to other migration flows and from the impact of migration at the macro-level in countries of origin and destination to the impact at the micro-level of migrants and their families. The long history of mobility in the West African region from trans-Saharan trade in goods and slaves, Muslim missions and warfare to the extensive labour migration and forced or voluntary resettlement within the region that began during colonialism and continues to today imply that migration is interwoven historically and culturally in both rural and urban social worlds. Contemporary migration flows may be within particular West African states, but include major movements within the Region and some transnational migration. Many aspects of these kinds of migration tend to be ignored in the established development paradigms. While they focus on economic parameters of migration, especially linked with the dichotomy between the loss of labour power at the migrants’ place of origin and the economic gains of individual migrants and/or of their communities or countries through remittances, little attention is given to the social consequences of economic migration long-term. The purpose of this panel is to explore how repeated migration shapes the family relations between different generations living in or originating from West Africa, be they current migrants, return migrants or family members who have not travelled. The panel aims to raise questions about the ways in which migrants’ experience of living in different places and of increasing or decreasing living standards influence their views on the social practices they grew up with and the economic, political and moral investments they make in processes of change and continuity. We also aim to address questions about how family relations are maintained and changed, including the ways in which sub-units of families in different locations make sense of and respond to their own experiences, exploring the stories told, and investments and claims made by relatives and others.
In order to explore and analyse intergenerational relationships in contexts of high migration from as many angles as possible, we invite empirically-based papers focusing on current or former migrants and/or their families in any part of West Africa, irrespective of whether the migration was between rural areas or between rural and urban spaces, within the country or between countries. Perspectives from particular age- and gender categories are welcomed. This panel is intended to be bilingual and accepts contributions in both English and French. For a panel abstract in French please contact the panel organisers.
|Panel 29: View abstracts - Associate Prof. Alice Bellagamba ; Juniorprofessorin Erdmute Alber ; Prof. Pierluigi Valsecchi|
|Extended families in time. Creating alliances and power networks in Western Africa societies and history|
Extended family is often indicated as one of the most resilient institutions in front of the epochal changes underwent by colonial and postcolonial African societies. From the late XIX century on, extended family has been the object of impressive apologetic discourse, with various ideological undertones. It has been commonly represented as operating for the moral, spiritual and physical well-being of its members, enhancing habits of sociality and conviviality in face of social and political disruption, supplementing welfare in front of inefficient services provided by a weak State. Extended family has also been described as actively struggling to infiltrate State itself – as well as the trans-national loci of economic and social power – for access to resources and benefits.
The panel questions these representations, and engages in exploring extended family and family power networks and alliances in the longue durée of West African history. It questions the type of services extended families provided to their members in different historical periods, but also constrictions and burdens they imposed on them.
We believe that family history is a heuristically meaningful tool for investigating processes of power construction taking place in different historical periods and different spatial dimensions (regional, trans-regional, national, trans-national), in connection with processes of economic, political and social change.
We welcome papers conjugating historical and anthropological approaches and analysing extended families in the past and the present as plural and conflicting structures of relations, produced and reproduced through time by the inventiveness and agency of a multiplicity of subjects, differently situated in the social space.
|Panel 30: View abstracts - PhD Sören Gilsaa ; PhD Annette H. Ihle|
|Islamic education and activism in sub-Saharan Africa|
This panel proposal considers studying current trends in Islamic education in sub-Saharan Africa from a social activism perspective. The study of Islamic education and Islamic ‘reform’ movements has had much attention in the later decades. However, in these studies there has often been much emphasis placed on theological Islamic debates and less on relating these issues to the broader social trends in the adjoining societies and the continent as a whole. Islamic educational and ‘reform/activist’ debates are, however, deeply interconnected, and they share much with non-Islamic issues and broader development debates. Among ‘reformist’ Muslim activists the issue of education is always at front, perceived as the requisite needed not only for correct Muslim living and conduct, but also for increased social welfare and political mobilisation. The issues of Islamic education and activism furthermore connect the topical discussions on ‘local’ and ‘translocal’ influences among African Islamic expressions. Also, they link disputes over Islamic and non-Islamic knowledge to debates on Islamic activism and entrepreneurship, just as they relate closely to ongoing debates on the proliferation of Islamic civil society and NGO’s. Thus, the panel proposes to place special attention to the somewhat overlooked linkages between Islamic education and broader development-related debates on youth and gender, social deprivation and mobilisation, contentious politics, and movement activism. The hope is that we can conjure up better understanding of the countless Islamic initiatives in Africa these years and discuss them within a framework of alternative African agency.
|Panel 31: View abstracts - Associate Prof. Signe Arnfred|
|Sexuality and Politics in Africa|
The multiple ways in which sexuality and politics intersect in Africa are becoming increasingly apparent. In South Africa the Jacob Zuma trial and its aftermath made explicit the close connections between notions of sexuality/masculinity and political power. While feminists outside the courtroom were defending women’s human rights, ex-deputy president Jacob Zuma referred to his sexual behavior (defined by the complainant as rape) as part of Zulu culture and tradition. Similar contestations between ‘rights’ and ‘culture’ have emerged in the controversies regarding so-called ‘virginity testing’, also in South Africa, and regarding customs of female genital cutting in a number of other African countries. The broad field of struggle against the HIV/AIDS pandemic is in itself a political battlefield concerning different notions of and approaches to sexuality. The political pertinence of these battles is exacerbated by transnational forces of fundamentalist religion – Christianity as well as Islam.
At stake in such controversies are interpretations of ‘culture’. Who interprets ‘culture’ in which ways, and backed by which economic and political interests? At stake are also interpretations of ‘rights’. Whose rights are being defined and claimed by whom and how? To what extent are ‘rights versus culture’ dilemmas being conceptualized in terms of implicit North/South differences – and how may such conceptualizations be challenged?
Emerging struggles for the acknowledgement of sexualities beyond mainstream notions of masculinities and feminities are also linked to dilemmas and interpretations of ‘culture’ and ‘rights’. Implicit in such struggles are often a certain measure of ‘identity politics’, which may be necessary, but which also have limitations. How to expand the rights discourse beyond narrow notions of ‘identities’? How to critically address dominant modes of sexuality, which are normally taken for granted?
The panel invites papers which – based on empirical material in any of the abovementioned fields – debate conceptual issues regarding culture, rights and identities, as related to sexuality.
|Panel 32: View abstracts - Dr. David Blanchon ; Dr. Olivier Graefe|
|Water in Africa: policies, politics and practices. National and local appropriation of global management models and paradigms|
Africa is often presented as a continent of natural hydrological disasters, either in form of floods or droughts. Furthermore, the continent represents a “proving ground” for new water policies conceived at a global level like the EU Water Initiative or the Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development adopted by all African states as official policy in 1999 at the conference in Addis Ababa. The objective of this panel is to understand and to compare the establishment of policies, the dynamics of politics and the changes of agency in relation to water from international to local scales. Our assumption (according to authors like Anthony Turton, Patrick Bond, Jean-Jacques Pérennes in the African context, cf. Eric Swyngedouw, Maria Kaika for different geographical contexts) is that these processes are strongly interrelated with the cognitive representation of scarcity and the value of water, thus to the economic regime as well as to social and power relations at various levels. It implies that the relationship between the objective or material scarcity and the discursive one – the latter not being less real than the former – must be taken into account in order to understand the discourses and complex practices of different actors during “water crises”. This explains the difficulty to understand and to manage conflicts linked to the lack or, to be more precise, to the variability of water resources. These debates revolving around water policies, politics and management practices lead us to structure the panel and discussion in two parts. The first part will be centred around the establishment of water policies and water management paradigms like Integrated Water Resource Management or Integrated River Basin Management. A leading question will be how different variables coming from different fields like natural, political and social sciences on one hand, and economic and administrative constraints on the other hand are integrated in these policies. The second part will focus on the strategies and practices of various actors involved in the implementation of these policies. Attention will be paid to the role of local institutions and actors, women and women representative groups in particular. Case studies are welcome from all parts of Africa, especially from Southern Africa, West Africa and the Maghreb and can be presented either in English or in French.
|Panel 33: View abstracts - Dr. Mathilde Leduc-Grimaldi|
|Visualizing Africa, from there to here, between now and then.|
The representation of Africa and African visual arts in the western world cannot be ignored. Those last decades have especially seen an increase of (and a craze of) reports in our medias about shows, exhibitions or biennales directly dealing with Africa. Those events and reports contribute to the global visualization the African continent have in our western societies. The purpose of the proposed panel is to identify, and analyze the different ways aimed at concurrently visualizing Africa, both then, and now.The panel will focus on a trans- and multi-disciplinary approach. It will consider both the historical, as distinct from the contemporary schemes, and both the local, as distinct from the general, globalized aspects of facts, trends, and issues related to images. It will show that alternative Africa-originated propositions are (or are not) making an impact on Western, and Westernized societies.The analysis will in particular focus on:a) images from the past as they are available now, and dating back from the pre-colonial era, the colonization period, the independence and thereafter, and their use and circulation to-day;b) image processing, and use in Africa, including political, economical, sociological constraints of image producing there, and local responses by the image makers (challenging, and/or coping with these constraints); c) local actors in Africa (artists, photographers, studios, schools, …), especially:i) their relationships with their respective communities of origin; andii) how the Western middlemen (be they individuals or institutions) are using, and/or adapting the works of these actors to meet the expectations, and purchasing intents of the Western market; andd) African art festivals, biennales, etc., and their actions, and impact, both on Africa and internationally, as compared with these activities within the Northern hemisphere.Based on these analyses, the panel will conclude, and insist on the striking continuity of a rich, complex visualizing process.
|Panel 34: View abstracts - Dr. Deborah James ; Dr. Isak Niehaus|
|Post-apartheid: ethnographies of the South African transition|
The South African transition has been described as a ‘miracle’ in modern political history. Former white supremacists and black revolutionaries are credited with successfully negotiating an end to ethnic conflict and establishing one of the most liberal constitutions on earth, which entrenches the right of freedom from discrimination on grounds of race, gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. South Africa has been praised for its sustained economic growth, black economic empowerment, and electoral and political stability.
But alongside the celebration of ‘the world’s most vibrant democracy’ some alarm bells have begun to sound. Many promises of prosperity have not materialised. Economists question government statistics about job creation. They point out that whilst ‘casual’ workers have grown, there have been drastic job losses in the mining, manufacturing and construction industries. Only 6.8 million of South Africa’s economically active population of 15.5 million are estimated to be ‘formally’ employed. Crime, corruption, gender violence and HIV/AIDS have emerged as issues of serious concerns. Figures for murder, rape and HIV/AIDS infection are amongst the highest for any country in the world. There are also signs of mounting alienation amongst the South African electorate. During the 2004 elections 44% of South Africa’s 27.5 million eligible voters stayed away from the polls and another 250 000 voters spoilt their ballots.
These contradictory experiences show that the South African transition evades description in terms of simple phrases such as ‘miracle’, ‘failure’, ‘revolution’ or ‘reform’. Conceptualising the South African post-apartheid situation is a task of great analytical complexity. Several questions are left unanswered. To what extent was the South African transition the result of the globalisation of political economic processes and to what extent was it uniquely national configuration? What sorts of comparative insights can the growing body of anthropological literature on the transition from socialism to capitalism in Eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania (see for example Holy 1996, Verdery 1996, Burawoy and Verdery 1999 and Hann 2002) provide? What is the nature of the arrangement between different political economic elites (or ‘factions of the ruling class)? How does this arrangement articulate the interest of South Africa’s rural and urban masses? What is the basis of the state’s legitimacy and what sorts of relations of patrimonial distribution have been established? Also, how do local ethnic and racial identities articulate with the social and construction of the new South African nationalism? Academics are often trapped in discourses that merely celebrate or critique the South African transition and have only slowly begun to answer these crucial analytical questions.
|Panel 35: View abstracts - Dr. Rachel Hayman ; Dr. Jude Murison|
|Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Development in the African Great Lakes Region|
For the last decade, the Great Lakes region of Africa has been caught in a continuous spiral of conflict. Political turmoil, ethnic tension and social upheaval within the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda are both intimately bound up in, and symptomatic of, broader regional issues. At the same time, Uganda and Rwanda are considered to have made significant progress developmentally in recent years. As the DRC and Burundi go through political transition processes, northern governments and aid agencies are increasing their support, laying the groundwork for the formidable task of assisting in the search for lasting peace in the region and sustainable socio-economic development.
This panel seeks to explore the dynamics of development in this region of Africa. By concentrating on a narrow set of countries (DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi), we can consider the multi-dimensional angles of development processes - political stabilisation, economic development, social dynamics, etc. – and how these impact upon each other in the specific context of the Great Lakes. We will further question whether the range of developmental activities being undertaken, from elections to poverty reduction strategies, ethnic reconciliation to micro-economic projects, can bring about transformation in these countries. Or do these activities and the apparent progress mask unresolved underlying tensions? Are certain groups and actors being ignored? Is there sufficient understanding of the complex realities of this region? Donor agencies are pouring aid into the Rwandan and Ugandan budgets to support poverty reduction strategies and social reconciliation activities, and into the political transition processes in the DRC and Burundi. Is the basis of lasting peace being laid or will the powder keg that is the Great Lakes region explode once again?
Over the last four years, a network of new researchers on the Great Lakes has been formed which has brought together young researchers from across European universities working on a wide range of topics within different academic disciplines. This panel seeks to provide the opportunity for some of this new research to be presented. Papers are welcomed, from both established Great Lakes experts and new researchers, which present new material on the DRC, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda
|Panel 36: View abstracts - Prof.dr. Gerti Hesseling|
|Between customs and state law: The dynamics of local law in sub-Saharan Africa|
In all African countries, the official legal system is based on European state law. Since its introduction under colonial rule, however, it only deals with a minor part of the actually arising conflicts. Most legal problems are solved or regulated on a local level, outside the state system and its institutions.
Over the past years, development agencies and international organisations have increasingly paid attention to “traditional authorities” and “customary dispute resolution” as alternatives to state judiciary. Their recognition within the official legal system is expected to facilitate “access to justice” and to enhance political decentralisation processes.
But beside these large-scale initiatives, most Africans have already developed their own ways to reconcile customary legal conceptions with state law. On the one hand, tradition is reinvented; on the other hand, the role of state law is readapted to local realities. State administrators or policemen intervene in “traditional” disputes; “traditional” land transactions are settled through written contracts. There are lots of examples of local legal innovations in Africa.
The purpose of this panel is to collect different field studies on such dynamics of local law. To what extend are these legal practices viable? Can and should they be integrated into state law? Are they precursors of some new forms of law which are neither “customary” nor “modern”? Or are they mainly the manifestation of a dilemma due to the erosion of pre-colonial traditions and the lack of legitimacy of state law?
|Panel 37: View abstracts - Amanda Hammar ; Dr. Graeme Rodgers|
|Political Economies of Displacement in Southern Africa|
Southern Africa shares the experience of much of Africa in terms of high degrees of uncertainty and forced displacement, having, for example, over ten percent of the global share of internally displaced persons. This panel seeks to explore the changing – and overlapping – political economies in Southern Africa that are both producing and being produced by forced displacements. It especially wishes to investigate the emergence of informal or underground economies (operating at different scales and sites) that have resulted at least in part from forced displacement, and to trace where possible how these articulate with official economies (and their associated regulatory regimes) that necessarily alter in times of turbulence.
Much literature on the forcibly displaced – including refugees, internally displaced persons and ‘other forced migrants’ – either has a strong policy orientation or is concerned with questions of human rights, humanitarian assistance, security, repatriation and reintegration. Often this reproduces homogenising labels that erase the personal and social histories and heterogeneity of those displaced, and fails to recognise the particularities of loss and suffering on the one hand, and the resourcefulness of particular communities and individuals on the other, including processes of ‘emplacement’ to counter such loss. Limited attention has been given to the work of recovery and transformation, especially amongst unrecorded displacees.
Acknowledging the serious methodological and theoretical challenges involved, there is a need to step outside the boxes and to re-conceptualise forced displacement in more complex terms that go beyond the violence and victimisation of subjected populations. More systematic research is needed on the political-economic conditions that produce and are produced by displacement in Africa, and on the agency of displacees themselves in finding ways both to survive socially and economically, and to support others, under extremely harsh conditions. Also important are the various other gatekeepers, entrepreneurs and bricoleurs involved in the new kinds of displacement economies now emerging.
The panel invites papers based on empirically grounded case studies that shed light on the relationship between three intersecting dimensions of displacement: 1) the process of displacement itself, in terms of what has precipitated it, who has been targeted and/or affected, what form/s it has taken, and what effects it has generated with respect to patterns and practices of violence, exclusion, dispossession, resistance or recovery; 2) the trajectories of movement of displacees, whether within or across national boundaries, considering for example the spatial and social closures and openings created, older histories of displacement and dispossession as well as former routes and networks of migration that may be drawn upon, the nature of links maintained – if any – with former home places, as well as the differential experiences of displacement affected by class, gender, age, ethnicity, national identity, political affiliation, and so on; and 3) new forms of economy emerging at multiple levels (micro, national, regional, global), emphasising the links between informal or underground activities in/across urban and rural settings and borderlands, and the changing practices in more formal economies resulting from challenges posed by increasing scales of displacement and deepening uncertainty.
|Panel 38: View abstracts - apl. Prof. Eckhard Breitinger|
|African Migrations and Exiles in Germany - Representations and Creative Responses in Literature and Media |
Participants of this panel will attempt to illustrate in an exemplary fashion how exiles or migrants negotiate their position in their “host” society and how these negotiations are narrated in the idioms of the memoir, of fiction, or film/TV documentations. The panel will not aim to give a comprehensive overview of the history of African exiles but it will concentrate on individual experiences. Panelists, according to their own personal backgrounds will highlight certain phases in the history of migration and exile.
The panel should be supplemented by a showing/viewing of selected TV productions
|Panel 39: View abstracts - PD Dr. Brigit Obrist ; Dr. Flora Kessy|
|Livelihood, Vulnerability and Health. Moving beyond existing frameworks|
Chair: Brigit Obrist, University of Basel; Charles Mayombana, Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre, Tanzania
The livelihood frameworks of DFID and other international organizations are widely used by development experts. The panel critically examines these frameworks in the light of recent empirical studies on the links between poverty and health. Insights gained from the comparison of research findings will contribute to a deeper understanding of the vicious circle of disease and poverty.
Major international agencies like the World Bank, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) argue that countries in Africa are caught in a vicious circle of disease and poverty. The World Bank’s poverty reduction strategy states that poverty is both a consequence and a cause of ill health because the poor lack resources to pay for treatment, and illness undermines their ability to cope financially. As formulated in the Millennium Development Goals, the fight against poverty should therefore include the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases. Livelihood frameworks developed by DFID and other international agencies increasingly inform health research. They draw attention to the impact of health costs on livelihoods, leading to increased poverty and vulnerability. Recent critics have argued that livelihood frameworks are biased towards household assets and neglect the even more important issue of gaining access to resources mediated by social and political forces. Others suggest that livelihood studies concentrate too much on negative impacts on livelihood instead of identifying resources on various levels of society fostering resistance and resilience to these impacts. The aim of the panel is to reconsider livelihood frameworks in the light of this critique and of empirical evidence in order to move towards a more comprehensive and refined understanding of the complex links between disease and poverty.
|Panel 40: View abstracts - Associate Prof. Amy Kirschke|
|Contemporary African Art: A Rhetoric of Change|
Les exposés dans ce groupe de travail (panel) peuvent être envoyé en français, ainsi qu’en anglais ou en portugais (la langue de travail dépendra de la langue choisie par la majorité des orateurs).
Un des objectifs de la conférence de l’AEGIS 2007 est de se concentrer dans ce qu’il y a de « dynamique » dans l’Afrique contemporaine, afin de sortir de l’afro-pessimisme qui trop souvent empêche de regarder le continent sans préjugé et avec rationalité. Malgré cela, aujourd’hui, l’Afrique souffre : elle est relativement plus pauvre qu’en 1960 (« l’année de l’Afrique »). Après quarante ans d’indépendance, le continent fait toujours partie du marché global, mais il reste à la marge de la mondialisation pour ce qui concerne les retours économiques. Une analyse par « structure » et par « agency » en Afrique peut nous aider à mieux comprendre ce paradoxe.
Aujourd’hui, l’Europe impose à l’Afrique des « ouvertures » ou des réformes économiques et politiques (la « bonne gouvernance »), mais elle ferme ses frontières aux africains (à l’immigration). Les jeunes africains se tournent alors vers les Etats-Unis ou le Canada (notamment les francophones). Cela pose des questions importantes : les nouveaux modèles de consommation, sociales et politiques n’arrivent plus exclusivement de l’Europe (voir par exemple la fin de l’importance de l’Etat dans les économies nationales des divers pays africains). En outre, de cette manière les logiques coloniales ne vont plus fonctionner dans les générations africaines futures. Si la France, la Grande Bretagne et l’Europe ne sont plus des modèles pour l’Afrique (certains parlent d’une « deuxième décolonisation »), sur quelle voie l’Afrique s’engagera-t-elle?
L’Afrique est le continent des ressources, de l’énergie, de la population et de l’espace. Les pays asiatiques (la Chine et le Japon en tête) ont compris l’importance d’un tel marché, où ils occupent une place de plus en plus importante. Ils agissent notamment à travers le dumping des prix et quelques entreprises d’assemblage. Les Etats-Unis, quant à eux, s’intéressent à l’Afrique pour ses richesses en matières premières, notamment le pétrole. En outre, ils se concentrent sur l’aide à la société civile (aux ONG, aux églises, etc.) à travers des projets concrets qui souvent contournent les Etats eux-mêmes. Ces derniers, en revanche, n’obtiennent guère qu’une aide militaire. De fait, ces stratégies ont remplacé l’ancienne logique d’assistance au développement que les anciennes puissances coloniales européenne fournissaient aux gouvernements et qui fait aujourd’hui l’objet d’une large critique.
Dans ce groupe de travail, on essayera d’examiner si les changements des relations (surtout économiques) entre Afrique et le reste du monde dans le cadre de la globalisation ont eu un effet positif sur les sociétés africaines. Car sont-elles prêtes, en effet, à subir un nouveau modèle, celui du capitalisme néolibéral, qui est politiquement moins lié au passé colonial mais qui pourrait se révéler tout aussi problématique?
Les études des cas doivent ce porter sur ces thèmes (le premier regarde la « structure » et les derniers deux la «agency»):
- Organisation du nouveau capitalisme africain;
- Analyse de l’évolution de la production (quels sont les biens produits) et de la consommation (quels sont les biens consommés);
- Relation entre producteurs/consommateurs vis-à-vis celle entre patrons/travailleurs.
|Panel 41: View abstracts - Dr. Susan Arndt ; Dr. Daniela Merolla|
|The Art of Wor(l)d Markets: Development, Diaspora, and Narratives of Africa in Europe|
This panel intends to discuss how arts and economics are interrelated and function in the complex relationship between Africa and Europe. In fact, issues such as migration, diaspora, global economics and European development aid in Africa are to be explored in their interrelatedness with African perspectives on these aspects as negotiated in, and relevant for, literature, film and the fine arts. Two or three interlinked sub-panels will offer participants and presenters the possibility to pursue this topic both in detail and in its broadness and complexity. Possible themes for a sequence of panels would be:,exploring how the complex social, economic, political and/or cultural experiences of (legal and illegal) refugees are narrated, by refugees and ‘outsiders’, in various ‘imaginative’ media such as literature, film, internet, and music; (3) African Film Industry, Literary Market, and the Visual Arts as Development Factors, on the discussion/construction of economics in African films, novels, pictures etc; and on the artistic productions as economic processes/industries – with a comparative perspective on local markets (publishing houses, video companies etc.) in Africa. (1) Narrating the Diaspora and African Agency. Negotiating Trans-Spaces, its Economics and its Poetics, discussing how African agency resituates Europe, its economics and literature, while focussing on the African diasporic space as being both part of Europe and its 'Other; (2) Narrating Refugees in Literature, Film and the Fine Arts
|Panel 42: View abstracts - Dr. Claire Mercer ; Dr. Ben Page|
|Transnational spaces/cosmopolitan times: African associations in Europe|
This session will bring together papers examining the contribution which African associations in the diaspora are making to development on the continent. The focus on collective engagement is important since much of the current interest in the role of the African diaspora in African development privileges individual private remittances. Yet in cities across Europe, African diasporas are organised into a wide range of associations that not only offer support to individuals away from home, but also mobilise support for developmental projects in Africa. These projects range from the construction of schools and health facilities, to the sharing of expertise, knowledge and skills, to cultural projects which aim to preserve and showcase ‘tradition’. In the past such groups tended to be only in the form of hometown associations, however now there is a wider range of associational types embracing multiple nationalities and ethnicities, and particular professions, religions or generations within the diaspora. Such associations are interesting because they have emerged from the vast array of urban support associations, which were created within Africa as a result of increased migration in the twentieth century. They reflect the different historical experiences of different diaspora groups. They are also important because they are led by Africans and, therefore, they may bring alternative visions and innovative ideas to the development process. In this respect African diasporic associations may offer a more sustainable approach to poverty reduction. Equally, such new development actors face their own particular constraints relating to issues of information transfer, scale and trust. Africans within the diaspora face a wide range of demands and obligations on their, sometimes, very limited resources.
Beyond improving our empirical knowledge about the work of African associations in Europe the panel would encourage us to think critically about the theoretical concepts at the centre of current debates about development and the diaspora. This entails examining the way ideas of diaspora, development, modernity, nationalism, ethnicity transnationalism and cosmopolitanism and civil society are being deployed in academic and policy debates at the current time.
The papers in this session will consider these themes by inviting speakers to discuss research undertaken among the African diaspora in European cities. Specifically, they might address some of the following questions:
- What are the different forms that African diasporic associations take?
- How do the different contexts in Europe (city-size, country) influence the character and work of the associations?
- How do the different histories of associational life in different parts of Africa produce different associations in the diaspora?
- How do African associations in Europe differ from those in the USA? How do they relate to those in the USA?
- What are the identities upon which associations are based (national, regional, ethnic, professional, religious, sporting, gender, age) and what might these forms of mobilisation mean for debates about cosmopolitanism, political citizenship and development?
- What development(s) do associations want to see at home? How do they pursue these, and with what outcomes?
- What initiatives have diaspora groups undertaken? How successful have they been? Can they be sustained?
- What is innovative or alternative about the development visions that African associations pursue?
- How do African associations in Europe engage with European Governments or NGOs?
- What are the constraints that confront the leaders and members of diasporic associations?
- How do associations premised on the idea that ‘home’ is in Africa fit into claims about cosmopolitanism being made in European cities?
- How do African associations in Europe help or hinder the practicalities of living transnationally?
- What role do African associations in Europe play in helping people and places to accommodate to change? What role do associations take in processes of modernization?
|Panel 43: View abstracts - Dr. Kerstin Pinther ; MA Poll Swenja|
|Making the African Suburbia|
Suburban areas are a prominent topic in the discussion on American as well as European cities. There is the assumption that the processes and patterns of suburban development are essentially the same everywhere. Although the peripheral areas in African cities are among the fastest growing urban spaces on the continent, they are more or less neglected in the field of urban anthropology. Confronting the popular image of suburbia as refuge for affluent city dwellers, we argue that one important feature of suburbian life in African cities seems to be its extreme heterogeneity. Ghanaian suburbia for example marks a peculiarly contrasting adjacency of enclaves of unbelievable riches and »great despair«, a bizarre mixture of firmly walled off villas (also “gated communities”), raw buildings and workshops of those who work directly for the needs of the estate inhabitants. Many houses are built around older villages and on so-called “indigenous land”, whose “owners” insist on the recognition of their rights. Nowadays peri-urban areas are in fact highly contested landscapes – battlegrounds of different notions of urbanity, public space and privacy, of land rights and “claims to the city”. On the other hand, the urban periphery might function as laboratory for new urban forms and different ways of collective organisations. We argue that the suburbia must be understood as a central factor in the recent development of African urban cultures.
Studies dealing with peri-urban regions have mainly concentrated on the infrastructural, legal, economic and ecological problems connected with peri-urbanisation and on the governmental strategies to counteract them. In this workshop we want to approach this phenomenon from three different angles by looking at the “rural-urban interface”, suburban ways of living and at the representations of the urban periphery in the field of the arts.
|Panel 44: View abstracts - Dr. Didier Péclard ; Dr. Tobias Hagmann|
|Negotiating statehood in Africa|
This panel invites papers that empirically analyse how local, national and transnational actors forge statehood in Africa through processes of negotiation, contestation, and bricolage. We draw attention to the way in which statehood is negotiated between different sets of actors, how competing normative repertoires are mobilised to legitimise state practices, and how new types of political institutions emerge in this process.
According to prevailing academic and policy discourse, states in Africa are conspicuous by their ‘failure’, ‘collapse’, ‘fragility’ and ‘weakness’. Criminalised, globalised and privatised, the postcolonial African state seems to have mutated to nightmarish ‘shadow’ and ‘quasi’ state entities void of legitimacy and administrative capacity. Because of its inability to provide basic security, justice, or welfare to its citizens, the African state is depicted in recent literature as an ‘empty shell’ that has ceased to fulfil its core functions.
Against such normative perceptions, this panel conceives of statehood in Africa as dynamic historical and political processes that reflect the outcome of at times contradictory, at times overlapping interests and repertoires. Rejecting the image of African states as a-historic pathologies or as fix and objectified entities, we focus on how social forces such as ‘traditional’ and religious authorities, professional and community organizations, politico-military authorities or development and humanitarian actors define and reproduce, erode and reinvent statehood through daily interactions. They do so by referring to existing and by ‘reinventing’ new discourses which aim at legitimising their exercise of power (typical examples are references to ‘good governance’, ‘human rights’, ‘democracy’, ethno-politically defined types of citizenship, religious and cultural identities). In turn, existing state practices and ideologies are contested on the basis of these very same repertoires by other individuals and social groups. It is at the interface between these different actors and repertoires that the material and symbolic definition of today’s African state is negotiated.
|Panel 45: View abstracts - Carlos Lopes ; PhD Marzia Grassi|
This panel concerns cross-border fluxes (people, ideas, merchandises ...) in Angola. Informal cross-border trade is only one of the highlighted subjects. However, we are receptive to accept other paper proposals concerning cross-border thematic in other African countries or African regions.
Nas últimas três décadas a economia e sociedade angolanas registaram um profundo e complexo processo de transformações políticas, económicas e socioculturais. Determinações de natureza externa e de natureza interna confluíram num conjunto de transições (do regime de partido único para o multi-partidarismo; da economia centralizada para a economia de mercado; da guerra para a paz), que se têm desenrolado em simultâneo. O efeito conjugado, e em contexto, dos determinantes de natureza externa e interna gerou mudanças substanciais nos níveis e padrões de mobilidade de pessoas e bens no interior, para e a partir do território angolano, com repercussões importantes na natureza, na estrutura, na organização, nos modelos de inter-relação espacial e nos fluxos geográficos de orientação da actividade comercial interna, regional e transnacional. O crescimento exponencial das dimensões informal e ilegal no contexto da actividade comercial, a articulação crescente entre os diferentes níveis espaciais de concretização da actividade comercial (local, regional, transfonteiriço e internacional), a presença e as formas de organização e de funcionamento das redes comerciais transnacionais, as vantagens competitivas associadas ao comércio transfronteiriço, o florescimento de determinados eixos de orientação geográfica da circulação comercial são apenas alguns das consequências desse complexo processo de mudança. Adicionalmente, estes fenómenos económicos tiveram implicações sobre os processos identitários, uma vez que quer as trocas materiais quer as trocas simbólicas (culturais) desembocam em movimentos de valores através das identidades pessoais e colectivas.
O objectivo geral deste painel é a reflexão e a discussão, sustentada em contributos de diferentes áreas disciplinares (economia, antropologia e sociologia), sobre a forma como as transformações ocorridas nos padrões da mobilidade de pessoas e bens se repercutiram sobre a sociedade e economia angolanas. Atenção particular será dedicada às actividades comerciais informais, ao comércio transfronteiriço e ao comércio transnacional reportados ao contexto angolano, bem como às dimensões sociais e culturais em que se inserem. Subsidiariamente, constitui também uma oportunidade para divulgação dos resultados intermédios da pesquisa no terreno realizada no quadro do projecto “Angola em Movimento”, um projecto que integra na sua equipa investigadores angolanos com trabalho realizado nas áreas temáticas que o projecto pretende cobrir e que têm tido Angola como objecto geográfico dos seus percursos individuais de investigação. e que se estrutura sobre uma abordagem multidisciplinar, fazendo recurso aos contributos de diferentes áreas disciplinares (economia, antropologia e sociologia).
O Português e o Inglês serão as línguas de trabalho do painel.
|Panel 46: View abstracts - Dr. Dag Henrichsen ; Dr. Marion Wallace|
|Shaping collections, producing alternative histories: The example of Namibia as a contested research entity|
Libraries and archives are imagined spaces. By ordering the world and knowledge in specific ways and fields, creating frameworks of control and accessibility, collections (and thus collectors, archivists, librarians and other policy-makers) influence both contemporary research agendas and historical writing in profound ways. Further, as imagined spaces, collections in themselves reflect an imaginary of historical representations worthy of analysis. And collections in their turn have been shaped by processes of government and the generation of documents as both sources and records of power.
The panel contributes to the growing study of the contextualisation of African collections, in Europe and in Africa, for both research and popular audiences. It asks how, and in what forms, African agency and African voices have shaped, and emerge from, the archives and the history produced from them, and it tries to locate collections - and the institutions running them - in the wider field of knowledge production as well as the production of public history.
This panel looks at issues relating to collections, research and representations simultaneously, taking Namibia and Namibian-related collections as the example. The panel will try to draw out the relationships between three sets of questions: how and why archival and library collections happen to be as they are; to past and present conceptualisations of Namibia as a research entity or field, and the role of collections in this; and representations of Namibia's history in existing collections.
The panel seeks (subject to funding) to hear from those engaging with these questions in Namibia itself, where new approaches to history, heritage and the politics of memory are being forged. We expect to complement these papers with those from scholars based in Europe.
|Panel 47: View abstracts - ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellow Daniel Conway|
|Reassessing the South African Liberation Movement|
Panel Chair and Discussant: Professor William Beinart, University of Oxford
This panel will reassess the various dimensions of the anti-apartheid movement. The papers analyse the struggle of non-state actors in Africa, against illegitimate governance and systematic abuses of human rights. The anti-apartheid movement engendered national and trans-national new social movements that have theoretical bearing on the conceptualisation of contemporary civil society in Africa. The papers adopt a common analytical framework for assessing the different empirical contexts of the liberation movement in South Africa and internationally. The panel will explore the complex strategies, activist postures and challenges made to the apartheid state at the apogee of the struggle in the 1980s. This panel offers a revisionist history of the liberation movement that has implications for contemporary protest and resistance movements throughout Africa.
|Panel 48: View abstracts - MA Amber Gemmeke ; MA Victor Igreja|
|Women, Men, and Faith: Reconfigurations of Authority|
Religion in Africa (and beyond) is generally associated with male and gerontocratic dominance, in Islam as well as in other belief systems. This panel will explore situations in which young men and women acquire authority in religious settings, and how this authority is negotiated, legitimized, and publicly recognized in various African contexts. The panel will consider case studies of women and young men who inventively altered dominant discourses and practices on religious authority in the domestic sphere as well as on the level of the nation state.
Recent studies on Muslim African women and women war survivors in Africa -to name but two examples- pointed out the necessity of considering the diversity among actors frequently regarded as victims instead of agents, in local and global transformation processes. These actors are, in fact, as much influenced by these processes as they are creating them. Accordingly, recent local and global developments create new obstacles as much as they provide new possibilities for these actors. Reconfigurations of religious roles by young men and women may contribute to a containment of stress and violence, to new forms of social mobility (access to technologies, urban and transnational migration) as well as a combination thereof. This panel seeks to compare cases of individuals ' religious authority altering general conceptions -and their legitimacy, or lack thereof, in their societies. Especially the question, of which processes trigger and sustain these alternations of religious authority, will be addressed. We invite, for this panel, papers which point out the authority of young men and women in a religious context, whether Islamic, Christian, or other.
|Panel 49: View abstracts - MA Victor Igreja ; Prof. Annemiek Richters|
|The politics of healing and justice in post-conflict societies: Global discourses and local realities|
The politics of healing and justice in post-conflict societies: Global discourses and local realities
A major characteristic of modern violent conflicts is the massiveness of traumatic events that affect the physical and mental health of the people involved as well as their social and cultural realities. Valued institutions, ways of life of a whole population and precious resources such as social capital are under attack and largely destroyed. In the aftermath of these violent processes, the attainment of healing and justice to foster peace and social stability, restore social capital and boost the emergence of a state of law and socio-economic development is placed under scrutiny. There are no global consensuses on how best to achieve these goals. Yet there are local realities and dynamics that unfold to recreate a sense of new order. The aim of this panel is to engage in debates on individual, social and cultural recovery from violent conflict by developing critical ideas confronting global discourses on healing and justice with the basic pressures that local communities face in order to thrive.
Post-conflict societies around the world differ in the way they handle healing and justice in the aftermath of political violence. In some countries the nation state introduces mechanisms and strategies to promote the process, in others the nation state leaves, through strategies of inattention or denial, communities to fend for themselves. Either way, internationally steered interventions may try to influence the process. We invite to this panel papers that address these contemporary dilemmas by focusing on post-conflict processes with the goal of highlighting issues related to various kinds of healing and practices of justice.
|Panel 50: View abstracts - Dr. Henning Melber|
|The new scramble for Africa|
Africa’s new growth appears primarily driven by a global commodities boom, as advanced industrialised and rapidly industrialising powers fuel vigorous market competition for scarce natural resources. Human development prospects in Africa, although buoyed by improved flows of foreign investment, are simultaneously imperilled by a drive by diverse actors (old and new great powers, multinational companies, international terror and criminalized business ventures, arms suppliers and rebel militias) for the appropriation of Africa’s wealth. Often pursued in collaboration with African governments and elites, this ‘new scramble’ threatens to return the continent to authoritarianism and endemic conflict.
This panel presents some of the work in progress undertaken within a project jointly undertaken between the Institute for Strategic Studies (ISS), the South African Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation (DHF). It seeks to explore the dynamics underlying recent political and economic trends, and to identify the challenges they pose to development and progress in Africa. With reference to the general theme of the Conference, the factor of African agency in these processes and the role of African players will receive particular treatment and special consideration.
|Panel 51: View abstracts - PhD Wendy Willems|
|Agency and the constitution of publics in Southern Africa|
Within the continent, Southern Africa has been perceived as commanding a well-functioning “public sphere” which most scholars have located in rational-critical debate occurring in e.g. broadsheet newspapers and television. However, this panel argues that a narrow conception of the public sphere, as has overwhelmingly been used within the field of African Studies, masks the set of economic, political and social constraints that have characterised the public in Southern Africa. A strict focus on rational-critical debate masks the way in which these constraints have been contested through other media, i.e. tabloids, soaps and jokes. This panel argues that an expansion of “the political” allows for a critical analysis of alternative trajectories and enables us to investigating alternative media in Africa as spaces where creativity and agency can be asserted.
|Panel 52: View abstracts - Dr. Joseph Agbakoba|
|Alternative Approaches to Improving Institutional Self-correction mechanisms in the Public Sector of African States |
One major set of factors that account for the very low levels of efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector in African States is that the sort interactive skills and commitment of operators in this sector are at a very high degree of variance with the stated organizational goals (in other words, constitutional interests and action interests are highly asymmetrical). This asymmetry exists largely because extant institutional self-correction mechanisms inherited from the West, which are mostly vertical cross-checks that are heavily dependent on the integrity, commitment and effectiveness of supervising and superintending officers, are rendered ineffective by the peculiar nature of the African cultural, socio-political and economic environment. There is thus the need to explore alternative systemic or institutional self-correction mechanisms in dealing with the problems of the public sector such as corruption, waste and inefficiency, non-responsiveness and indifference to organizational goals.
This panel will welcome papers on the public sector generally as well as specific public sector institutions that will explore alternative self-correction mechanisms, such as horizontal cross-check mechanisms elements of which include internal and external administrative audit and cross-examination, protection and encouragement of whistle-blowing, freedom of information and the right to information, detailed and extensive publication of public sector processes and activities.
|Panel 53: View abstracts - Dr. Stefano Bellucci|
|Les effets socio-économiques de la « deuxième décolonisation africaine » au nom du marché libre et global|
Parler d’« identité et créativité en Afrique » (le thème de la conférence de AEGIS 2007) signifie poser des questions fondamentales sur l’organisation sociopolitique du continent. L’Afrique est-elle marginalisée ou reléguée au dernier rang de la hiérarchie mondiale ? Doit-on, dès lors, sombrer dans un afro-pessimisme excessif ou peut-on encore, en cherchant bien, trouver des solutions à la crise ? Encore, s’agit-il d’une crise de l’Afrique ou d’une crise politique et économique mondiale qui touche plusieurs pays du monde (du nord comme du sud) ? Pour répondre à toutes ces problématiques, il est nécessaire d’adopter plusieurs perspectives, ce que propose ce group de travail (panel). Cette méthode consiste à présenter des analyses sur la situation économique, politique et culturelle de différents pays ou régions du continent selon plusieurs points de vue disciplinaires (histoire, archéologie, anthropologie, sociologie, linguistique, philosophie, sciences politiques et économie). Le premier est le point de vue historique à long terme (ou « longue durée »), qui analyse l’évolution du continent, l’évolution de l’organisation de la politique et de l’économie dans divers réalités régionales et étatiques, à partir du XVème siècle jusqu’à nos jours, en prenant en considération les relations de l’Afrique avec le reste du monde (Europe et monde arabe). La deuxième approche est celle africaniste, privilégiant l’histoire, la culture et la civilisation africaine et non plus les approches euro-centriques. Finalement, dans une perspective régionale, on analyse la nécessité ou non de revenir à des conceptions pan-africanistes fondées essentiellement sur l’unité historique, linguistique et culturelle du continent. Selon ce dernier point de vue, la dichotomie se concentre sur l’analyse du procès d’intégration (l’Organisation de l’unité africaine ou Union africaine) ou sur la vision de l’Afrique « noire » ou « sub-saharienne » comme mosaïque ethno-nationale.
Les exposés sont, dans ce group de travail (panel), bienvenus sur trois thèmes généraux:
1)l’Afrique dans le système international du XVème au XXème siècle et les relations extérieurs de l’Afrique;
2)l’organisation du pouvoir et de la société africaine précoloniale, coloniale et postcoloniale jusqu’à la guerre froide;
3)l’héritage du passé dans l’après guerre froide : pourquoi crises économiques et conflits touchent diversement les différents pays africains (certains son plus concernés que d’autres).
Le but de ce group de travail (panel) est l’indentification des problèmes et des potentialités en Afrique, ainsi que la mise en évidence de leurs causes historiques (mais aussi sociales, économique, politiques, etc.). Peut-on repenser les concepts de démocratie, de développement social et économique sur des bases entièrement nouvelles, compatibles avec l’histoire, la culture et la civilisation africaine, mais aussi réappropriés par les africains?
Les relations dans ce group de travail peuvent être envoyées outre qu’en français, aussi en anglais ou portugais.
|Panel 54: View abstracts - Associate Prof. Jónína Einarsdóttir ; PhD Henrik Overballe|
|Guinea-Bissau: there must be a solution - djitu ten ke ten|
The liberation war 1963-1974, lead by Amilcar Cabral, contributed not only to Guinea-Bissau’s sovereignty but also the fall of the fascist regime in Portugal, one of Europe’s last dictatorships. The unbridled optimism of independence has however faded. Today, Guinea-Bissau belongs to a group of countries, most situated in sub-Saharan Africa, that have been described by the international community as failing states. After the military uprising in June 1998 the economic and political situation of the country is severe and worrisome. Despite six successful elections, all judged to be free and fair by international observers, the political situation is unstable and chaotic. The government is not paying salaries to official employees, schools have been closed for months and strikes among public servants are common. Further, due to inability to control the borders, Guinea-Bissau is becoming a transit centre for drug trafficking from South America to Europe. Rising crime levels, aggravated by easy access to weapons, have been reported.
Guinea-Bissau is lagging behind, not only in global context but also within the West-African region, a region characterized by conflicts and wars with the associated negative consequences for the population. According to the latest UN Human Development Index, Guinea Bissau is the fifth poorest country in the world. Since independence 1974 Guinea-Bissau has received large amounts of aid from diverse multilateral and bilateral international agencies as well as NGOs. However, current trends in international development policy that stress good governance and partnership have resulted in a sharp decrease in aid volumes to Guinea-Bissau as well as other countries in similar situation. These countries have been categorized by donors as difficult partnership countries (DPCs) and become ‘aid orphans’.
This panel aims to explore Guinea-Bissau’s history, its current situation and prospects for the future from a multidisciplinary view. Papers that explore the colonial and post-colonial history are welcome, as well as those that examine current socio-economic and political situation of the country. We also invite papers that look at local experiences within various fields such as health, education, agriculture, human rights, ethnic relations, gender issues, etc. Are there any opportunities in sight? What are the external and internal factors that restrict Guinea-Bissau’s population from enjoying better life and prosperity? Does Guinea-Bissau have some comparative advantage to compete in the world economy, or are there any alternatives to the prevailing international development policy?
|Panel 55: View abstracts - Dr. Thera Rasing ; Dr. José van Santen|
|Gender and death in Africa|
Many African societies have gender differences concerning mourning rituals. E.g. in certain societies in (christianised) Zambia, a woman is not supposed to attend the burial of her deceased husband. In many African Islamic societies, it is thought that a woman cannot attend the burial of her beloved ones.
We want to explore death and mourning in Sub-Saharan Africa in relation to gender differences. Our starting point is that we cannot disentangle the 'given ' nature, from the 'constructed ' culture (Haraway 1991, Alsop et al. 2002: 29). How does dealing with death indicate gender categories in African societies? The variations of gender norms around death, related to symbolic and religious systems of society, may figure as discourses, as cultural systems that carry meaning.
We want to explore how gender differences are institutionalised in death and mourning rituals and how they are 'performed ' in these rituals. How do mourning rituals construct the meanings of gender roles? How are women's roles in dealing with death related to other 'female traits '?
In many African societies, there is a reversion of the symbolic order including gender roles during mourning rituals to disarray the bad spirits that may distract the relatives of the deceased. What do these reversals indicate about the construction of masculinity and femininity in relation to questions of life and death?
We would like a view on the emotional involvement of men and women upon death; their 'gendered experiences '. E.g. in Zambia, when a child dies before the age of six months, certain women perform rituals, while mourning is considered inappropriate. In Islamic Fulbe society, it is said that such a child has 'returned ' to God, so the word death is not even applied. Does it make acceptance of a child’s death easier for parents, how are they allowed to express their grief, and how is grief gendered? How do variations relate to gender differences within society? New widow(er)s are often denied access to grief, assuming that a new spouse is easily found. What impact do these attitudes have on gender relations between spouses? This is particularly important since the HIV/AIDS pandemic has caused many deaths. In many societies, the loss of a parent, a child, a (maternal) uncle is more important than the loss of the sexual partner. How does this daily 'reality ' affect the sorrow of the gendered subjects? Does it mean that sorrow is gendered, a performative act? How does the way one is allowed to mourn relate to gendered identity constructions? Do gender differences in mourning rituals provide appropriate ways to accept death? Gender differences in mourning rituals may provide constructive ways to facilitate dealing with the loss, and may reveal the resilience and strength of men and women, each in their own way, to deal with life and death.
We not only want descriptions of the various ways men and women are dealing with death, but a clear involvement with theoretical developments concerning gender identity construction, backed up by empirical contexts in which 'real ' men and women figure prominently.
 Gender divisions were naturalised in certain strands of theory (for an overview see Lloyd 1993). Sex difference research tends to assume a division of bodies into male and female and suggests that such a division generates distinct psychological and behavioural divisions between men and women (for a description and critique see Harraway 1997). This assumption is of course most problematic (Alsop, Fitzimons and Lennon 2002: 14) though it still comes to the fore in recent theories where it is related to genes (Fausto-Sterling 1992; Rose, Lewontin and Kamin 1984) and hormones.
2 We hereby think of Butler's notion of gender as performative. Deeds or performances which serve to constitute identities as gendered subjects, go beyond the utterances of words, but range across the whole gamut of behaviours, decisions, desires and 'corporal styles ', that are associated with being male or female (Anslop et al. 2002: 98). People become gendered subjects from their performances and performances of others around them, whereby these gendered performances are tied up with relations of power (Butler 1990). Thereby there is no distinction between what is performed and what is 'real '. Gender is a kind of persistent impersonation that passes as real (Butler 1990a: viii).
|Panel 56: View abstracts - Dr. Shamil Jeppie ; Dr. Karin Willemse ; Dr. José van Santen ; Dr. Cheikh Gueye|
|Moving Frontiers: contestations in Muslim communities in Africa|
This panel seeks to present recent research on selected Muslim communities in Africa. Its starting point is the ways in which a notion of "frontiers" (material and metaphorical, historical and imaginary) could be heuristically employed in studying tensions and transformations within Muslim communities in a range of African locations. This notion is not used literally in its spatial connotation but is deployed in a whole other range of senses. How do new media push back visual and auditory frontiers? How do contestations in the realm of law force new frontiers to be constructed? What frontiers have been displaced in the public sphere through the many struggles between Muslims and between Muslim groups and the state? How are struggles over gender also struggles over frontiers? We will be concerned with showing how frontiers are made and unmade, how religion on the frontiers can be both an enabling and disabling. The temporal focus would be African settings after WWII and at present we have solicited promises of papers studying issues in the lives of Muslim communities in Sudan, Senegal, South Africa and Cameroon. In other words, the panel will cover parts of West, southern and the Horn of Africa. The panel will therefore explore cases where Muslims are in the majority and in others where they are minority communities. While the papers on the panel will seek to make a conceptual and theoretical contribution they will be empirically grounded.
|Panel 57: View abstracts - Prof. Deborah Posel|
|Post-apartheid's social imaginaries|
The overall thematic rubric of this panel will be to examine the ways in which the idea, and practice of 'post-apartheid', resonates in a number of different sites and spaces in the 'new' South Africa. Eleven years' on from the advent of democracy, there are conflicting imaginaries of post-apartheid: including, amongst others, nativist renditions of an 'African' nation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's version of a 'non-racial' democracy in the throes of 'healing' from past traumas of race, and neo-liberal versions of the country's newfound global connectedness - each associated with different configurations of interests, aspirations and values. In these two panels, WISER researchers from a range of disciplinary backgrounds will draw on their original research to examine these differences, and their wider significance, nationally and globally.
|Panel 58: View abstracts - Dr. Manfred von Roncador ; MA Clarissa Vierke|
|Language in African cities|
Language in African cities
In African cities, global activities meet local creativity in special ways. Although it is true that most African societies have been multilingual for a long time, the linguistic situation in African urban societies today is not just a reflection of this; it is also shaped by the direct or indirect effects of global influences.
It is often overlooked that African agency is asserting itself by tackling the multilingual situation in a very flexible and creative way. Up to now, general sociolinguistic theories in respect of multilingual societies in urban centres have been dominated by analyses from non-African fields. We would presume to suggest that intensified linguistic research on languages in the fast growing African cities will be able not only to substantiate current theories but also to correct and thus optimise them.
This panel invites papers addressing issues concerning language use in urban environments in Africa, in particular linguistic analyses of language change, i.e. processes of accommodation, koneisation, levelling or even language shift. Within this panel, members of the Bayreuth collaborative research centre (SFB/FK 560) will present some results from their sociolinguistic research in Banfora (Burkina Faso).
|Panel 59: View abstracts - Prof. Peter Alexander|
|Class in contemporary Africa|
This panel considers key aspects of social class and the ways this impacts on people’s lives today. The first three papers present findings from South Africa. Two draw on recent research in Soweto that has included qualitative interviews and responses to a survey of 2,400 randomly selected individuals. The papers focus on people’s perceptions of class and a reflection on the Marxist notion of ‘reserve army of labour’ as a way of understanding the jobless. The third paper is also based on quantitative as well as qualitative data, but this time the research was undertaken in Cape Town. The author, who has previously debated with the authors of the first two papers about the nature of the unemployed, here expands his interests to consider race, class and redistributive justice. The final paper offers a ‘reality check’ by offering an assessment of class as it applies outside South Africa, in Nigeria, in particular to the relationship between organized labour and the popular masses.
|Panel 60: View abstracts - Prof. Dieter Neubert ; Dr. Elísio Macamo|
|The challenge of uncertainty and order in African polities|
The so-called “problem of order” has been a central sociological issue since the beginning of the discipline. Some key sociologists such as Talcott Parsons have even claimed that this is the sociological question par excellence. They understood their own sociological work as a fruitful attempt at coming to terms with how societies establish order. Africa’s political trajectory over the past decades has defied the optimism underlying functionalist varieties of sociology. Indeed, as the predominance of labels such as “failing states”, “criminalisation of the state”, “disorder as instrument” appear to show, Africa seems to be quite far from anything resembling the notion of order that sociology was expected to help into existence.
Africa’s recent and distant past has been characterised by economic, social, political and environmental instability which has imposed uncertainty as the major feature of African social reality. The sociology of risk and disasters has provided useful insights into the nature of this uncertainty. Many of these insights echoe fundamental findings of hermeneutically oriented approaches in sociology (ethnomethodology, symbolic interactionism) in that they place emphasis upon the way social reality is the outcome of social interaction. Indeed, coping with uncertainty has brought into relief the way individuals structure their everyday lives, imbue their life-worlds with meanings and seek to establish what Anthony Giddens has called “ontological security”.
This panel will probe further into these insights by articulating them with types of order with a political bearing. One important aspect is the articulation between the problem of order and issues of domination. The questions to be addressed in the panel deal with issues concerning institutions and notions which are relevant to the problem of order.
Obviously the state (including its administration and the legislative bodies) will be one institution of interest but in the current African situation we must consider further institutions, too. This might be traditional authorities, development agencies, churches civil society organizations or private sector companies.
The questions to be answered are:
• What is their exact role in creating order?
• Who is included who is excluded, and may the order created be an obstacle for others?
• How does their mode of functioning impact on the way individuals and communities cope with uncertainty?
• Are they seen as legitimate and how do they gain legitimacy and authority?
• How predictable are their actions?
The panel invites papers dealing with the relationship between uncertainty and order in every day life with a focus on the impact on African polities. We especially encourage papers which relate empirical findings with theoretical debates.
|Panel 61: View abstracts - Prof. Peter Geschiere|
|Autochtony, citizenship and exclusion - struggles over resources and belonging|
The aim of this panel is to compare divergent trajectories in the emergence – especially over the last decades - of autochthony as a political slogan with particular mobilizing force in different parts of present-day Africa and elsewhere in the world. Papers will focus mostly on the recent upsurge of this notion and its varying implications in Ivory Coast and Cameroon. However, we hope to organize a series of two panels in order to bring in parallel examples from elsewhere (also from present-day Europe).
A leading question will be how to reconcile interpretations in terms of access to resources and in terms of emotions (appeals to ‘belonging’ in whatever form). It is clear that autochthony movements are often about claiming special access to important resources (cocoa farms, forest, jobs, or whatever). However, interpretations in terms of political-economic interests and manipulations risk to neglect the strong emotional appeals of these slogans and the associated rituals (for instance at the occasion of funerals). The great mobilizing force of autochthony discourse resides precisely in this explosive mixture of politico-economic interests and powerful emotions that often escape the control of the movements’ leaders.
|Panel 62: View abstracts - Dr. Jan-Bart Gewald ; Dr. Giacomo Macola|
|Copper and Migrants: Towards a social history of industrialisation and social change in central Africa 1890-1990|
In March 1955 Max Gluckman, erstwhile director of the Rhodes Livingstone Institute (RLI) and founder of the “Manchester School”, gave a public lecture on, “Social Anthropology in Central Africa”. In it he provided an overview of anthropological research conducted primarily under his aegis in Central Africa, essentially Africa’s southern savannah, the region between the Zambezi and Congo rivers (present-day Katanga DRC, Zambia, Malawi and the inland territories of Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania). Gluckman wrapped up his lecture with a plea for historical research and concluded with the following words:
The Rhodes Livingstone Institute hopes soon to produce a symposium which will examine what colonization and industrialization have done to the region.
Unfortunately the industry and energy displayed by Gluckman and the RLI officers was not directed to this topic and fifty years on the symposium is still to materialise. With the passing of the years, and with the demise of the RLI, the ways in which industrialisation and social change occurred in Central Africa still await investigation.
The introduction of industrial technology in Central Africa brought about a number of radical and inter-related socio-economic transformations, most of which were a direct consequence of the unprecedented levels of wealth creation and circulation made possible by technological innovation itself.
Industrial mining radically altered the physical and socio-economic landscape of the region under study. Industrial technology made possible the growth of new urban centres, and for the development of new forms of wealth and social interaction. The development of a modern communication infrastructure went hand-in-hand with the growth of labour migration; both of which brought rural and urban economies into closer contact with one another. The movement of goods, people and ideas accelerated to a previously unimaginable extent.
The social and ideological consequences of all of this were momentous. Old hierarchies and principles of social organization stood challenged. Wage labour provided workers, primarily young men, with an opportunity to gain access to exotic goods and forms of respectability. While competing in one field of social interactions, young male labour migrants and rural-based patriarchs formed an uneasy alliance against female claims and assertiveness. In this ideologically charged context, notions of masculinity, wealth and modernity were both debated and redefined.
Despite the swelter of locally-focused, synchronic anthropological studies produced by the researchers of the RLI from the 1940s onwards, what is clearly missing is a broad synthesising historical overview of the socio-economic revolution that was brought about by the advent of industrial technology in Central Africa. To fill this historical lacuna the panel organisers invite historical contributions that deal specifically with the interaction between forms of industrial technology and society in Central Africa between 1890 and 1990.
|Panel 63: View abstracts - Dr. Laurent Fourchard ; Dr. Benjamin Soares|
|Nigeria under Obasanjo|
Nigeria is preparing to hold its third consecutive general elections in April 2007. Since independence, no other civilian regime has lasted this long. But some analysts have linked the rise in religious, ethnic, and economic conflicts in the country to the return to civilian rule in 1999. Although the most controversial question and the one that has received the most media attention is the application of sharia law in majority Muslim states in the north, the situation of near all-out war in the Niger Delta, recurring riots in numerous places, and political and religious clashes in the northern states and in Plateau State testify almost a priori to the federal government’s loss of any monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, the growing competition between different legal systems (federal and Islamic), and the extrajudicial privatization of the government’s policing functions by militias, vigilantes, and various self-defense groups. At first glance, the “democratic transition” has not only allowed greater freedom of speech but has also allowed new local and regional demands to be made, such as many northerners’ call for “sharia through democracy.”
But contrary to many predictions, the Nigerian state continues to function. Indeed, Nigeria has not imploded or collapsed. Have the intensification of an economy of corruption and the expansion in the number of states (from three in 1954 to 36 today), which have permitted political clients at local levels to become entrenched, not also hindered secessionist movements and centrifugal forces in the country? Have the proliferation of new local and regional power bases, the increased interdependence of elites throughout the country, and systematic corruption also helped to prevent any individual or group from monopolizing power in the country?
In this panel, we will take up these questions by assessing the two terms of President Obasanjo. First, we are particularly interested in studies of the history and sociology of current secessionist movements and those groups seeking greater autonomy (advocates of Islamic law, of sovereignty for Biafra, of the rights of minorities in the Delta, of the defense of “the Yoruba,” etc.), as well as organizations that regularly defy the government’s monopoly on the legitimate use of force (armed movements, militias, and vigilantes, as well as trade unions and political parties that regularly use political violence, for example by mobilizing thugs). We will focus on two aspects of this subject: we will examine the relations that the state and its agents have with these various movements, and we will chart the historical dynamics of the movements and ask to what extent recent political liberalization has changed them. Second, we look for analysis of how national wealth has been distributed and the political economy of corruption: its historical development, its frequent denunciation as a political program, and its greater coverage in the media at different times. Third, we would like to know how different political and social actors—politicians, administrators, the military, and intellectuals—have been able to reproduce themselves from one regime to the next.
|Panel 64: View abstracts - Dr. Rachel Spronk ; Anouka van Eerdewijk|
|Sexualities in Africa|
The intention of this panel is to focus on sexuality as fundamentally important to the analysis of African societies. Sexuality is important both as a research topic in its own right that can be used to explore the interconnections between social contexts and individual behaviours, and as a means to reflect critically on prevailing paradigms in health related research where sexuality is often approached as if it is a self-evident concept. The quantification of sex into behavioural frequencies and attitudinal scores has characterised much of the research on sexual behaviour in Africa since the 1980s. In many of these studies the term ‘sexuality’ can indicate a range of topics such as reproduction, circumcision, gender, HIV infection, and condom use. Instead, we would like to encourage authors to ‘unpack’ the notion of sexuality and to focus on the experiential aspects of sex. As such, we hope to explore new methodologies and concepts for the study and interpretation of sex and sexuality in African contexts.
Sexuality is a unique prism to study the interconnections between the social and the subjective. Sex is a medium for a variety of feelings, emotions and needs: people have sex for fun, to fulfil a desire for intimacy, for a physical thrill, to procreate, to exert power, to humiliate and much more. Sexuality is fundamental to a community because the social organisation of sexuality, through rituals such as marriage or circumcision, is based on conventional gender and sex roles. Therefore, erotic and moral ideologies, as well as social characteristics like gender, age, ethnicity, etc on the one hand inform people’s sense of self, while also regulating their possibilities. Sexual behaviour is also related to structural factors like people’s socio-economic circumstances, migration, access to education, etc. In other words, sex has a personal as well as a social dimension. We encourage authors to reflect critically on these intersections between the individual and the social, by considering how social contexts frame sexual desire, behaviour and identity.
We propose a panel with three sessions dedicated to different sub-themes, in order to focus the discussions, to pay attention to the broad spectrum of sexuality and to provide space for the new expanding study area of sexuality studies. One is 'sex and Gender ', which will explore how constructions of gender frame the experience of sexual desire, sex practices and sexual satisfaction. The second is 'sex and HIV/AIDS ', which will continue the discussion about risky behaviour and safer sex practices in the context of HIV/AIDS. The last is 'sex and Love ', which will explore how love and affection are related to sex and how sexual intimacy is culturally constructed.
We will invite people to present papers via our extensive networks, but we would like to await the call for papers to broaden our scope of possible presenters.
|Panel 65: View abstracts - Dr. Michael Pesek ; MA Susann Baller|
|The politics of travelling in Africa - Translocal perspectives in African history|
Travellers have played a crucial role in African history, whether as hunters, traders, explorers, diplomats or rulers. The importance of travellers as agents of change is often mentioned in African historiography. The particularity of travelling as a social and cultural practice, however, has gained only little attention. Described in a very basic way, travelling is a translocal practice which creates relationships between different spaces by human agency. These relations can become stabilized relations as in, for instance, trading networks or peripatetic rule. In other cases, they emerge only for the period of the traveller’s presence in a particular place, such as in the case of European exploration in the 19th century. The relationships produced by travelling can be of political, social and/or cultural nature. They often influence and create social realities, but sometimes are confined to imaginary worlds. Travellers contribute both to their societies’ knowledge about other places, as to a peripatetic knowledge production in the travelling situation.
Travelling depends on human agency in a very concrete sense. It is bound to the presence and movement of people. What is more, travelling produces its own dramaturgies. It always has a beginning and an end; there are always moments which we can describe as arrivals and departures. In many cultures, these moments are connected to ceremonies and rituals. As James Clifford (1997) has argued, these moments produce situations where locally different cultures and practices of representation interact and may produce what he calls travelling cultures. These performative moments are particularly interesting, when we focus on travelling as a specific practice of negotiating social and cultural processes in translocal encounters. Travelling thus permits us to analyze such processes in the context of very concrete situations.
Papers dealing with the following themes are welcome:
- Places and spaces of translocal encounters in African history (e.g. ports, trading routes, beaches, airports)
- Travelling cultures in African history (e.g. hunters, traders, porters, diplomats)
- Travel technologies, infrastructures and professionals
- Peripatetic rule in African history and travelling politicians
- Traditions of hospitality
|Panel 66: View abstracts - PhD Nomfundo Mlisa ; Prof.dr. Wim van Binsbergen|
|Traditional religion and healing in Africa and the role of the inner senses|
Representatives of African traditional religion and healing often claim to be led by their intuition or to be inspired by spirit forces. Spiritual and inspirational powers may be difficult to understand, yet this is no reason to ignore (or look down upon) the methods and achievements of such practitioners. What needs to be reckoned with is that African notions on wellbeing, health and disease are steeped in the conquest between, on the one hand proof, coming from spirit mediums, and on the other, faith in God, that remains distant and inconceivable. As guardians of a cultural as well as a spiritual heritage, who retain and preserve ancient beliefs and practices in the face of contemporary circumstances, traditional practitioners do re-adapt their art in the course of time. Instead of looking upon them as representatives of an old and rusty heritage, we could look how they too re-invent, re-structure, re-create and re-interpret culture in ways relevant to the present time. This panel will involve empirical case studies which add to the theoretical debate on the representation of African voices and visions. It does so by focusing on ways that traditional healers and mediums use their inner senses for the good of personal and social wellbeing. The various aspects of their work, their impact and role in society will be at the basis of the discourses.
The following aspects are involved:
1. Traditional practitioners have been marginalized and left on their own for many years
2. Economical and social changes affect traditional health care practices
3. Acknowledgements by governments and the formation of traditional associations
4. Policy formulations versus ethical and working guidelines in use by practitioners
6. The communication gaps between practitioners and government officials
7. Projected initiatives and strategies for registered practitioners and pharmacies
8. The contribution of scientific research to traditional healer’s associations
9. Training schools for initiates, a healer’s calling and the certification of training
10. The intergenerational transmission of psychosomatic disorders in families
11. The responsibilities and strains involved in large traditional practices
12. Involvement of traditional health practitioners in formal social and medical training
13. Ways of encouraging African students to do research among traditional practitioners
14. Use of regional information centres where scholars, healers and others can meet
15. Means of support or funding to practitioners of whom many people have benefited
|Panel 67: View abstracts - Prof. Daniel Bach ; Dr. Ian Taylor|
|New players, old tricks?: Africa in the 21st century|
This panel proposal is intended to bring together scholars of Africa’s international relations to discuss players and actors who are developing – often at astonishing speed – new links with Africa. States such as China, India, Iran and Brazil are all entering the African market at a phenomenal rate, often displacing “traditional" actors, such as the ex-colonial powers. Africa is also seen as a promising frontier by a whole range of transnational players who span from religious movements to transnational corporations and NGOs. The implications that these new relationships have for the continent in both economic and political terms are extremely intriguing, but something which has rarely been covered in depth. This panel intends to seek to remedy such a gap in our research knowledge by advancing studies of Africa’s growing ties with the new players. In doing so, it is hoped that the nature of these relationships can be properly unpacked. In particular, the “newness“ of these actors and how they operate in Africa – and whether anything is actually new about this and their behaviour – is central to the proposed panel.
|Panel 68: View abstracts - Dr. Rijk van Dijk ; Dr. Marja Spierenburg ; Dr. Harry Wels|
|Exploring new dimensions of religion and entrepreneurship|
The ways in which the growth of the neo-liberal economy is affecting societies in southern Africa is often described in anthropology as either giving rise to a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety, or to new forms of exploitation and new levels of inequality. In this literature religion is perceived as the domain where the whimsical nature of the liberal order is symbolically and morally reflected in fearful fantasies related to witchcraft and zombie-economies, or in the rise of millennial movements and prosperity churches that promise unimaginable wealth to the believer. As the economy and morality have become so deeply intertwined, (successful) business communities increasingly also tend to instrumentalize religion so as to socially legitimize their profits and to create the kind of ideological framework that will provide them with moral support for their activities.
Much less attention is however paid to the ways in which religion, and the moral legitimation and inspiration it provides, produces as well as places itself on a market of some sort. On the one hand we note that religious leaders, churches and other religious groups increasingly appear to become active in all kinds of entrepreneurial and business activities or become competitive on a market of NGO initiatives where groups vie for international aid & development money. On the other hand we also witness that business communities, captains of industry or other important entrepreneurs increasingly turn to religious moralities, often involving notions of charity and philanthropy in the way they engage with similar markets in a pursuit of their interests.
The role and functioning of such newly emerging religious(ly inspired) markets should particularly be studied from the perspective of the moralities, theologies and business ideologies that inform such entrepreneurial styles as well as the notions that legitimize and render acceptable to the general public their specific interests. This panel explores the broad ranging relationship between the market and (Christian) religion (or religious moralities) in this particular region. Hence, in so doing the panel moves away from an anthropology that basically perceives of the neo-liberal order and the market as a disruptive onslaught on the social fabric towards an anthropology that seeks to understand the ways in which the market appears as an opportunity vis-à-vis the religious domain, perhaps in unexpected ways.
|Panel 69: View abstracts - Lecturer Marie-Emmanuelle Pommerolle ; Prof. Johanna Siméant|
|The World Social Forum in Nairobi : exploring the making of African causes.|
Based on a collective investigation of the next world social forum in Nairobi (January 2007), this panel will explore the making of African antiglobalization
movements within a wider international movement. The aim of the panel is to give the first results of an investigation focused on the biographies of African
participants to the forum and on the grammar of the African antiglobalization movements. Through an ethnographic research and in-depth interviews, the
objective is to understand local practices and external brokerages of these causes with universal vocation.
|Panel 70: View abstracts - Dr. Guy Thomas ; Prof. Patrick Harries|
|Trading Places: Knowledge Production and Transfer between Europe and sub-Saharan Africa - the Missionary Context|
The terms "mission" and "missionary" continue to evoke deceptive models of one-way mediation of Christian faith wrapped in a variety of denominational and educational garbs. Beyond the export and mediation of religious content and conviction from the West, however, it has generally been acknowledged that missions and missionaries inevitably became entangled in highly complex enterprises of cultural brokerage. Their remarkable achievements as anthropologists, linguists, geographers, botanists, entomologists, craftsmen, medical experts and the like provide alternative avenues for a comprehensive reappraisal of their aims, activity, interests and influence. Yet it often remains unclear how their indigenous interlocutors fit into the broader picture of 19th and 20th century knowledge production and transfer between singular African mission fields and European institutions or society at large. This interwovenness of the supply, flow and exchange of information derived from missionary interaction constitutes the focal point of concern here. Missionaries sent to various parts of sub-Saharan Africa faced the daunting task of making sense of what they saw and whom they encountered. In turn, those they encountered were confronted with the challenge of attempting to work out, and of seeking to draw advantages from, their own opportunities. The speakers on this panel will crystallise and historicise several strands of interaction within distinct missionary contact zones in order to illustrate evolving modes of exchange as well as the changing and interlaced patterns of knowledge production and transfer over time. The need to retrace these vestiges ties together with the argument that the roots of possible African alternatives stipulated in the conference title are buried in deep history and require to be partially unveiled as possible indicators of initiative and creativity both in the present and the future. In this panel we look at the multiple ways in which human beings have been trading places physically and geographically between African and European settings. But we stress that it is equally important to throw light on some of the channels through which reciprocal teaching and learning processes have taken place. These have been both formal and informal, solicited and casual, and have resulted in a cognitive exchange between the two continents for several centuries. Indeed it is perhaps this process of mutual grafting and shaping of each other's social and cultural determinants that we must take into account seriously before envisaging valid alternatives beyond current constraints.
The panel presented above is expected to be complemented by another panel that deals with knowledge production and transfer in a non-missionary context, i.e. by examining a cross-section of encounters between colonial agents, settlers, non-official travellers, traders etc. on the one side and individual members or groups from indigenous African communities on the other.
|Panel 71: View abstracts - Prof. Peter Skalník|
|African political leadership: any alternatives?|
Political leadership in Africa has been suffering from serious shortcomings in the postcolonial period. They stem from the imported norms of political life grafted on the impoverished economic structure which makes from the state the main source of wealth, whether legimate or not. At the same time original African institution of chiefdom has been either suppressed or abused by the leaders using the imported model of the state. The new alternative for political leadership may consist in a sharing hybrid between the original African institutions and imported state forms. Authority and power might combine in such a model which I call New Indirect Rule. The panel would compare interdisciplinarily findings of scholars working on resolving dilemmas of contemporary leadership in Africa
|Panel 72: View abstracts - Prof. Philippe Denis|
|Enhancing resilience in orphans and vulnerable children|
The author of this proposal is the director of the Sinomlando Centre for Oral History and Memory Work in Africa at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The Memory Box Programme, one of the most important programmes of the Centre, consists in training and mentoring volunteers from various community-based organisations in South Africa and other African countries who are willing to provide emotional support to orphans and vulnerable children through memory work and life story work. The work of the Memory Box Programme is based on a pilot study conducted in 2001 and 2002 in Durban. Various publications, including a book entitled "Never too small to remember. Memory work and resilience in times of AIDS" (Pietermaritzburg, Cluster Publications, 2005), discuss the experience of the Memory Box Programme. Since 2002 the Memory Box Programme has trained and mentored more than fifty non governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs) and faith-based organisations (FBOs). Another pilot study on memory work in schools is under way. The Memory Box Programmes has designed several training manuals which are available online.
The Sinomlando Centre in partnership with the Vulnerable Children’s Programme and the School of Psychology of the University of KwaZulu-Natal has received funding from the Mellon Foundation for a study on the effectiveness of various psycho-social interventions aiming at increasing the resilience of orphans and vulnerable children in the Natal Midlands. The author of this proposal and Dr. Beverly Killian of School of Psychology, UKZN are the main investigators. The research will be conducted between May 2006 and August 2007. Data will be collected from 45 families and 80 children attending the psycho-social support programmes of these two organisations. The preliminary results of this research will hopefully be presented at the Leiden conference.
The purpose of the panel will be to explore the implications of the concept of resilience in the context of interventions aiming at providing psycho-support to orphans and vulnerable children. HIV/AIDS is an important factor of vulnerability for these children but it is not the only one. Others include war, sexual abuse and discrimination. Resilience is the ability to use internal and external resources to cope with adverse situations. Which type of children can be said to be resilient? In what circumstances are children more likely to become resilient? What types of intervention are likely to enhance resilience in these children? Special attention will be paid to the role of community-based organisations and faith communities in enhancing resilience in orphans and vulnerable children. If the proposal for this panel is accepted, the Sinomlando Centre will ask the Regional Psycho-Social Support Inititiative (REPSSI), a network based in Johannesburg, to disseminate the call for papers among its members in southern and eastern Africa. Sinomlando also has partners in francophone Africa, in Rwanda, Burundi and Central Africa in particular. Some of these partners may present their findings in French.
|Panel 73: View abstracts - Dr. Mirjam de Bruijn ; Dr. Francis Nyamnjoh ; Dr. Inge Brinkman |
|New Social Spaces. Mobility and technology in Africa|
In this panel we propose to investigate the relations between mobility, communication technologies and social space. Mobility is one of the important features of economic and social styles of the African continent, often related to economic and social parameters. Through migration and mobility, people create societies that do not consist so much of a community living in one geographical place, but rather of multiple communities that are formed by strings of people. Some of these shifting communities are seen as ‘marginal’ vis-à-vis the state, we propose to call these ‘mobile margins’.
While marginal regions and the migrant communities attached to them are often associated with isolation, for people from these areas, communication is often central in their lives. Patterns of mobility and contact are strongly related to technology or the absence of it: new means of communication open up new alleys of contact, while closing off other routes and means of interaction. Not only new forms of mobility, but also these recent technological innovations need to be framed in a historical perspective that includes earlier changes in communication and technology. In this manner it becomes possible to study marginalization as a differentiated and varied process.
In the panel specific attention is given to:
- the relations between the introduction of new communication technologies, and social and political hierarchies in ‘marginalized areas’ and the migrant communities that have been and are produced from these regions.
- the changing meaning of marginality in a context of social change related to communication technologies. How do people from marginal communities link their history to notions of centrality and marginality, of contact and isolation or of exclusion and connection? And how are these related to the formation of mobile margins of various geographical outreaches?
|Panel 74: View abstracts - Sef Slootweg ; Paul van Hoof|
|The Creativity of Practitioners for Development|
The panel will discuss 6-8 papers analysing the practice of capacity strengthening: the impact on income and employment, the impact on the access and quality of basic services.
Since the early nineties of last century the debate on technical assistance for development has profoundly changed the international development approach. The project approach is replaced with a programme approach. The donor driven approach is replaced by a demand driven approach. The parallel system of project staff only responsible to donors is replaced with technical support for local authorities to improve public service delivery. Uncoordinated support activities of international donors are replaced with a sector wide approach and state budget support. Technical personnel assistance by European and North-American experts has become an African affair. The key words in the development industry have become Capacity Development, Ownership, Leadership and Good Governance.
The 21st century started with the UN Millennium Development Goals, and Jeffrey Sachs presented his big plan to make poverty history. The World Bank and other international donors require a country strategy to realise this goal, usually presented in a National Poverty Reduction Strategy Document. The debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative or American Millennium Challenge Account is conditioned by Good Governance indicators.
This worldwide strategy with 8 goals basically is about simple things: reducing poverty, improving health, education and the living environment with equal chances in society for women and men. Local governments and organisations are responsible to effectively create the space for economic development and to provide basic services for citizens and business. SNV, the Netherlands Development Organisation, with over 600 advisors in 18 African countries supports local actors in their struggle to realise Millennium Goals at local level. SNV distinguished two impact areas: one covering production, income and employment and a second one is dealing with basic services delivery.
It needs more than big plans, sophisticated policies and glossy brochures to change conditions in communities. Local actors pursue their ambitions, ideals and interests. They negotiate their differences, struggle to overcome conflicts and move in new or adjusted forms of actions. Creativity, local coalition building and good governance to use local and national resources will lead to results in poverty reduction and basic services delivery. The role of international support organisations like SNV has become primarily capacity development. The big question is how does capacity development contribute to achieve local Millennium Goals?
This panel presents research that shows results and difficulties in capacity development related to impact for development in Africa. What are results? What are the difficulties? Is capacity development really the panacea for sustainable development? Will it really result in the final “take off” for African’s development? Or will it share the same fate as all the earlier Big Plans To Make Poverty History?
We invite people to present papers that investigate the impact or the lack of impact of capacity development on poverty reduction and basic services delivery.
|Panel 75: View abstracts - Dr. Hein de Haas ; Dr. Oliver Bakewell ; Dr. Ton van Naerssen ; Prof. dr. Annelies Zoomers|
|Migration reshaping the landscape of African development: bridging theory-practice and sending-receiving gaps|
There is a growing interest in the link between migration and development, focusing on the contribution of migration to the development process in African countries – especially remittances, brain circulation, engagement of the diaspora in development etc. However, there has not been much attention to the way migration processes might be affecting the very notion of development.
Migration scholars generally agree that development ‘progress’ initially tends to increase people’s propensity to migrate rather than to reduce it. This paradox is often referred to as the ‘migration hump’ or ‘migration transition’. While changes in access to social and economic resources partly explain this phenomenon, a fuller understanding must take into account the impact of development and migration on societies as a whole - in particular, their effect on people’s overall sense of well-being, their concepts of the good life and their aspirations.
Many development initiatives in Africa (and elsewhere) are based on the implicit notion that people’s conceptions of the good life entail establishing sustainable livelihoods in places of origin. They also fail to recognise that migration is reshaping the very development landscape within which they work.
Migration is generally seen as an undesirable phenomenon which should be curbed through ‘development’. But assumptions of development interventions do not correspond with people’s changing aspirations and their ideas of the ‘good life’. Development-instead-of-migration and restrictive migration policies are therefore undermined by people’s increased resources and aspirations to move.
Development actors, including states, tend to rely on outdated maps to guide their way through this landscape, with the result that their development goals are not consistent with the changing aspirations of the ‘target’ populations. Restrictive migration policies are therefore undermined by people’s increased resources and aspirations to move.
By bringing together academic, policy-makers and practitioners from different regions of Africa, this workshop will aim:
•To explore how this juxtaposition between the assumptions of top-down development models of policy makers and the actual dynamics of migration in Africa affects the relevance and effectiveness of both development and migration policies.
•To consider strategies for updating the ‘maps’ available to development and migration actors in order to improve their fit with the changing reality on the ground.
•To identify differences and communalities between relevant policy agendas of ‘sending’, ‘transit’ and ‘receiving’ countries and to analyse the implications for development.
The panel would welcome contributions from a broad range of participants, including researchers, policy makers and practitioners in African migration and development issues.
|Panel 76: View abstracts - Prof. dr. Meine Pieter van Dijk|
|Invited AEGIS panel: The role of China and India in Africa|
This panel would be organized with the EADI working groups on Industrial development and study all elements of China’s presence in Africa: its role in digging up raw materials, in building road and other infrastructure and in exporting products to the continent. It would be organized jointly the EADI working groups on Industrial development and other groups in the framework of similar regional associations such as ICDA. The panel will be a follow-up to the Workshop "The rapid industrialization of China and India: Domestic and International Consequences" at the University of Antwerp, March, 31 - April, 1, 2006.
The idea behind that workshop was to deal with the threat of the rapid industrialisation of China and India for developing countries in general and Africa in particular. China's and India's emergence as world players in the global economy has important implications for them. Given the large number of participants in Antwerp the organizers had chosen the right topic at the right moment. While Europe is protecting its textile and leather sector for Chinese imports, African and Latin American countries suffer even more. Some case studies dealt with these issues, like the ones presented on Ethiopia (Tegegne Egziabher) and one case study on the impact of China on mergers.
|Panel 77: View abstracts - Prof. dr. Detlef Müller-Mahn ; Prof.dr. Bernard Calas|
|Conceptualizing natural hazards, risks and resilience in Africa|
The contributions to this panel shall explore the relevance of the concept of resilience and compare it with the concept of vulnerability on the basis of case studies from Africa and with reference to current theoretical debates.
Natural hazards are common phenomena in many parts of Africa, but up till now it is not sufficiently understood under which conditions they lead to disasters. The “naturalness” of disasters is heavily disputed from a social science perspective, and among researchers it is widely accepted that explanations of disastrous effects of hazards may rather be found in the context of vulnerability and/or resilience of local communities. In geographical studies it is almost common sense that vulnerability plays a crucial role when it comes to disasters. Yet, this approach fails to explain why some people are more vulnerable than others. In other words: Vulnerability is used as a descriptive and not as an analytical category, since it does not sufficiently respect the causes of poverty, marginalization and other factors that may contribute to vulnerability.
The first entry point of the contributions to this panel should be to look at vulnerability in the context of the wider society and its changes, i.e. focussing on the relationship between vulnerable groups and their social environment. Secondly, the panel should examine the relationship between vulnerability and resilience. Both terms are often used with similar meanings, with resilience being the positive opposite of vulnerability. Yet, if the only difference between both concepts is that one denominates the antonym of the other, one of the two would become dispensable. A third critique of the concept of vulnerability is that it implicitly contains the notion of passiveness and victims. The concept of resilience on the other hand emphasizes agency, institutional settings and change.
The overall objective of this panel is to develop alternative views of resilience that involve the dynamics of social change and may therefore be more appropriate to the rapidly changing societies in Africa than the older concept of vulnerability.
The panel shall be jointly organised by geographers from Bayreuth and Bordeaux, but papers from other disciplines and places are most welcome.
|Panel 78: View abstracts - Prof. dr. Uoldelul Chelati Dirar|
|CANCELLED: Trespassing Colonial Boundaries: Individual Mobility between Protest and Social Enhancement in Colonial Eritrea|
Little attention has been paid in contemporary research to the role of individual mobility in colonial Northeast Africa. A reason for this can be found in the particularly troubled and instable history of the region in the postcolonial years that has led scholars to privilege themes related to politics and economics in which the main focus was on institutions, communities, and collective initiatives. On the light of a wealth of new documentary materials emerging from colonial and private archives, and from the memory of few surviving protagonists of those years, it seems now about time for the development of different approaches shading light on the role and place of individual choices in the broader context of colonial strategies.
Aim of this panel is to analyse individual trajectories and the choice of mobility and displacement either as a form of protest or a way to improve one's social status in a context where individual and social mobility were strictly monitored and deliberately hampered. In line with the broader theme of the AEGIS conference, this panel intends to go beyond the stereotypical representations of Africans as passive objects of colonial strategies emphasising the significance of African agency. Therefore, the discussion will analyse how individual initiatives of African colonial subjects managed to trespass colonial boundaries exploring in a creative way various and unpredictable synergies with the outer world, launching a pattern which seems to have its sad continuity in present day migrations.
Papers presented in this panel should privilege a biographical approach focusing on individuals rather than groups. The main theme of the panel is likely to be developed from the perspectives of:
- African gaze over Europe in literature
- Metissage and hybridity
- Africans and the encounter with ‘modernity’.
The panel intends to discuss the above-mentioned themes from a multidisciplinary approach benefiting from the enriching contribution of scholars from the fields of history, anthropology, and literature and will probably be structured into two sessions.
|Panel 79: View abstracts - Prof. dr. Dorothea Hilhorst|
Since the late 1980s, and accelerating after the Rwanda crisis in 1994, humanitarian aid has increasingly come under debate. Rapid changes in the field of intervention, devastating evaluations, the multiplication of humanitarian actors, and the eroding legitimacy of aid have thrown the sector in a crisis of identity (what is humanitarianism today?) and a crisis of legitimacy (who are trustworthy humanitarians?).
One of the continuing points of debate centre on the undervaluation of local capacities during humanitarian emergencies, concerning both local people’s coping practices and relief and rehabilitation capacities among local governments and non-governmental organizations.
Debate starts with the nature of the basic humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. It could be argued that these principles are Western-oriented while regions in Africa harbour their own humanitarian philosophical and practical traditions. It could also be stated that humanitarian principles are being abused to exclude local actors on account of their embeddedness in their own societies.
Although there is much debate on these issues, these are mainly held between head quarters and academic institutions in the North. This may be partly attributed to a lack of self-identification among African organizations as humanitarian, even among agencies that have a long experience in the field of emergency aid or disaster risk reduction. On the other hand, African humanitarian organizations maintain that they are excluded and instrumentalized. Dawit Zawde, representing an NGO, charged in 2001 that "Many programmes are formulated in foreign offices instead of being built around local realities and so fail to respond to real needs. Root causes are ignored as programmes neither reduce poverty nor prevent conflict. In this context, African NGOs have become little more than subcontractors supplying cheap labour for project-based aid. Capacity-building, to the extent that it occurs, rarely aims for more than building a better sub-contractor: more transparent, more accountable; in sum, a more reliable recipient of aid funds"1.
Reviewing the praxis of international humanitarian responses brings out a general lack of success in linking relief to development and a failure to provide protection for crises-affected populations. The question is what alternatives can be provided by local coping practices and humanitarian capacities?
While focusing on African alternatives, the panel considers that we should not lean towards an unproblematic celebration of local humanitarian praxis. It welcomes contributions that provide a critical appraisal of cultures of coping, the politics of aid, and the everyday practices of organizations engaged in relief or disaster risk reduction.
Contributions to the panel are welcome and may address the following:
- African humanitarian discourses
- Local practices for coping with conflict or disaster and their relation with outside interventions
- Case studies on the praxis of African “humanitarian” organisations
- Papers on the coordination of aid, and the interface between international and national actors
1. Zawde, Dawit (2001) ‘Africa Humanitarian Action’, TALK BACK The Newsletter of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), Volume 3-4.
|Panel 80: View abstracts - Dr. Francesca Declich ; Dr. Ada Ingrid Engebrigtsen ; Dr. Marja Tiilikainen|
|Memories of own country: maintaining social networks across boundaries|
Form the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia, many people have left during the last four decades especially as forced migrants. A number of events have pushed towards such diasporas not all related one another which creates inequalities within them. Yet, many from the Horn are now living permanently away from home. Recently new means for communication are changing the way people relate one another across country: communication is very fast and expectations from relatives in the Horn rise exponentially. Hopes and possibilities opened by relatives abroad revive the dreams of those who stayed in Africa whose imagery to construct a better future is nourished by the idea of being in contact with those who are outside. As distance and dreams for the future are important for those who stayed, memories about “home” acquire different characteristics for those who left their country. To what extent the idea of “home” takes a completely different importance for younger generations? To what extent the idea of “migrating” has an appeal to young or older generations? How the concept of “home” and “migrating” changes in relations with the different opportunities of moving and communicating across boundaries? This panel is meant to attract those scholars who worked on the memories of the migrants from the Horn and within the Horn. These memories are always related to specific historical moments, yet, particular version of historical events become more important in specific contests. Historical events and the event of displacement may be remembered differently by men and women for a number of reasons. The shape of these different memories and their role in maintaining a social network will be focus of or panel.
|Panel 81: View abstracts - Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues ; Ana Bénard da Costa|
|Contradictions along the path to development: International co-operation, elites and entrepreneurs |
In sub-Sahara Africa several multilateral agencies, donor countries and NGOs support and finance initiatives that have the major and final purpose of promoting development in different dimensions. In this process, the outcomes are frequently quite diverse from the originally-conceived plans, and this deviation often results from the interaction of specific local dynamics with development agents, organizations and resources. The so-called target groups are often the ones that benefit less, while other local and national actors, more involved (directly or indirectly) with international cooperation, are the ones that have been developing the capacity to reinforce their economical and social positions. For the latter - all sorts of different political, academic or economic elites and entrepreneurs - “development”, in its classic definition, is a reality. But in which way does this “development” benefit their countries? What kind of interaction exists between international and western development agencies and national development agencies and agents? What , for instance, are the consequences of the contradictions between scientific research and consultant services and the logic of the development and economic agents? Are the African elites and entrepreneurs the key to development, or an obstacle to it? In this process what kind of logics and strategies interact and contradict with each other?
Based on these questions, and focusing on different African national contexts with various levels of International Aid dependency, this panel seeks to contribute to the wider debate on African development, analysing the relations between the ideologies and logics of international agencies and the strategies and practices of the different elite and entrepreneurial groups that benefit directly from international co-operation resources and opportunities.
|Panel 82: View abstracts - Dr. Dirk Kohnert ; Dr. Henning Melber|
|AEGIS related journals panel: Africa's contested memories|
Several leading European and African academic journals have published or are preparing issues on Africa’s memories. The purpose of the panel is to bring together some contributors to these issues in the hope of helping build a broader comparative reflection on the elaboration(s) of these memories. The workings of memories of and on Africa, their connection with academic production, their inscription in global dynamics, memorial and else – the growing role of diasporas, the global culture of atonement and repentance, the negotiations between the north and the south over aid, immigration or governance – suggest we do not limit ourselves to African countries, but study these memories in the interplay between Africa and Europe. It also invites us to do so comparatively, rather than focus on the relationship between one metropoly and its ex-colonies. The colonial times (which, in the case of Namibia and South Africa, has arguably ended recently) figure prominently among these memory struggles, but post-colonial episodes may already be the basis for memory struggles from whose exploration we can learn just as much.
|Panel 83: View abstracts - Dr. Gero Erdmann|
|Political Parties in Africa|
Although multi-party politics has been re-introduced in most African states for almost one and a half decade, research on political parties is still scant. There are a number of publications on party systems in Africa, but we still know very little about the organisation of political parties, their relationship to the electorate, and about the effects of particular regulations on party formation and organisation. The panel will be a first attempt to close this gap of knowledge. All the propose papers result from ongoing research project in Africa.
|Panel 84: View abstracts - Philip J. Havik|
|Rethinking Colonial Governance in sub-Saharan Africa: comparative perspectives on local actors, policies and practices (1915-1965) |
The present panel wishes to address the question of the relations between governed and government in sub-Saharan Africa during the period 1915-1965 from a local perspective, by focusing on the actors directly involved in the colonies themselves. Major policy issues such as traditional chieftaincies, taxes, administrative practice, and African political leadership are analysed in a perspective which privileges experiences from the field gathered by both administrators and representatives from civil society, in a decisive, transitory phase. As a result, the contributions intend to redirect the debate towards certain aspects, such as the diversity of opinions among administrators, the ad-hoc nature of government, the contradictions of ‘native’ policies, the relations between the different actors in colonial society, and the personal views and ambitions of its protagonists which evoke local, multilayered realities. At the same time, the panel intends to offer comparative views upon the practices in British, French and Portuguese colonies, and thereby contribute to the ongoing debate regarding the nature of ‘negotiating governance’ in colonial societies.
|Panel 85: View abstracts - Prof. dr. Eloi Ficquet ; Prof. Manuel João Ramos ; Prof. Alessandro Triulzi|
|Invited AEGIS roundtable: Ethiopian Studies, the Horn and African Studies: Trends and Prospects|
This panel intends to put together an overview of trends and perspectives in the studies on the Horn of Africa today. It is our intention that this panel be focused on Ethiopian studies vis-à-vis African Studies with their rich but different (and at times diverging) traditions. The objective of the discussion is not only to present a juxtaposition of states of the art but to see as well to what extent questions raised in specific areas, dealing with historical or contemporary situations, mirrored by loosely-joined universes of references and benchmarks, can connect to each other. We will devote our attention to the relevancy of notions such as political arena, cultural circulation, frontier, crossroads, hybridity, and their crisscrossing one another in many similar ways. On a wider level, we want to discuss how the studies of the societies of the Horn of Africa take into consideration the theoretical contributions and programmatic agendas of African studies and what they can contribute in return. The focus will be narrowed to history and social anthropology, two major disciplines in this area, encompassing views on archaeology, geography, sociology, political science, musicology and linguistics.
|Panel 86: View abstracts - Prof. dr. Paul Nugent|
|Invited AEGIS panel: Borderlands Identities and Bureaucratic Practices: Emerging Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives|
The importance of African border zones as 'productive sites' is increasingly being recognized within the Africanist research community. This is reflected in a recent crop of monographs and a noticeable expansion of publications in academic journals. Although a wider concern with the supposed effects of globalization partly accounts for this increased research activity, the resurgence of borderland studies cannot be reduced to this agenda alone. As important is the (perhaps belated) appreciation that so many Africans do not conduct lives bounded by national lines, but piece together livelihood strategies that exploit different spatial niches - and in the process help to forge them. Cross-border interactions may be nothing new, but the rapid growth of border towns in a number of countries, from Namibia to Cameroun, reflects the relative dynamism of border regions by comparison with other areas within the national domain.
Arguably what the research community now requires is frameworks for making better sense of trans-frontier phenomena. These need to draw on holistic research repertoires that combine a deeper appreciation of historical processes with systematic attempts to map out contemporary phenomena in detail. Moreover, researchers have to fashion ways of tying together local-level fieldwork with data drawn from a wide range of sources. This panel explores a particular set of issues - namely the ways in which state structures and border inhabitants together shape the border experience - as a contribution towards fashioning a research agenda for the future. The panel will look at (a) how state actors have sought, and do seek, to influence what happens at the border, whether in pursuit of official agendas or more particularistic ends. (b) how communities are configured in borderlocations: eg. how are claims to local ownership of space reconciled with the reality of fluid populations and cross-border claims? And how are disputes about belonging and ownership resolved, whether through recourse to state actors or local resolution mechanisms? The aim will be to explore these questions in a way that encourages the panelists not merely to present their particular findings, but to reflect on the issues that arise from researching boundary phenomena.
|Panel 87: View abstracts - Prof.dr. Phil Burnham|
|CANCELLED: Anthropology and the Changing Vision of Africa: Perspectives from the International African Institute|
|Panel 88: View abstracts - Mai Palmberg|
|Cultural construction of the nation: which way Africa?|
This workshop focuses on the different ways in which the contributions of the arts to nation-building are reconsidered, and ways in which new ways of defining and constructing the nation are sought. The role of the arts in nation-building in the immediate post-indpendence era was a correction to the colonial denigration of African culture, and therefore centrered on a reuturn to traditional values, a stress on unity and a concern for defining what is 'African'. Today the same themes are sometimes referred to by the government to deny the legitimacy of opposition.
New voices have entered the cultural scene, for example a number of strong woman writers and a vibrant youth culture in music and rap. They and others pose the question whether there is an alternative to the cultural construction of the nation contained in the nation-building project. Specifically we want to explore the different forms and instances of collaboration and confrontation between artists (of film, literature, music, pictorial arts, theatre and dance) and the governments.
|Panel 89: View abstracts - Aregawi Berhe|
|Makers of the Ethiopian Political Crisis|
This panel analyzes the crisis of the Ethiopian state from the position of key internal and external actors that are shaping the power politics of the nation. The impact of governance and how ethnicity is manipulatedto sustain political power will be treated by bringing into picture the current social and political realities.
Haimanot Wudu looks into how and why ethnic politics captured the political arena of Ethiopia and how various political and civil groups are engulfed by this wave. The impact of this political course will be highlighted.
Dadimos Haile analyzes governance in Ethiopia from human rights perspective. The role of external forces in nurturing the evolution of the "new" power holders will be discussed.
Kefale Mammo unravels the predicaments of freedom of expression in general, and how the Ethiopian free press in particular is muzzled under the EPRDF system.The potentials of its redemption will be articulated.
Abiy Ashenafi will investige the possibilities of a grassroot intervation to the crisis in this part of the world.
A regional social movement approach as one aspect of the solution to the crisis will be presented.
|Panel 90: View abstracts - Prof.dr. René Otayek ; Prof.dr. Pierre Boilley ; Prof.dr. Odile Goerg|
|Atelier sur les recherches africaines en France|
Le thème de cet atelier proposé à l’AEGIS est issu des premières rencontres du 29, 30 novembre et 1er décembre 2006, qui ont rassemblé plusieurs centaines de chercheurs des sciences humaines et sociales travaillant sur l’Afrique. On s’attachera à montrer quelles sont les recherches émergentes en France et la situation des études africaines.
René Otayek, directeur de recherche CNRS, CEAN-IEP de Bordeaux
Chercheur en sciences politiques, René Otayek présentera la manière dont la recherche politologique s'intéresse à l'Afrique, en s'appuyant sur les travaux effectués au CEAN, notamment dans le domaine religieux ou de la gouvernance.
Pierre Boilley, professeur, Université Paris 1 Panthéon - Sorbonne
Pierre Boilley, historien, fera le bilan des journées du réseau études africaines, et présentera les thèmes développés dans les divers ateliers au cours de ces journées. Il tentera de montrer les points forts et les difficultés des recherches en France concernant l’Afrique, tant au niveau problématique qu’institutionnel.
Odile Goerg, professeure, Université Paris 7-Diderot -SEDET
Spécialiste d’histoire urbaine, Odile Goerg coordonne divers travaux de recherches portant sur les villes en Afrique, notamment sous l’angle des cultures ainsi que dans l’optique des pouvoirs urbains et de leur impact sur les équipements et le foncier. Par ailleurs, Odile Goerg souligne le renouvellement de la perspective de genre dans les études historiques sur l’Afrique en France. Elle présentera au cours de l’atelier les axes de recherches récents et en cours développés en collaboration avec divers chercheurs étrangers, notamment ceux des universités africaines.