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Changing Stateness in Africa [2013 - 2015]

Changing Stateness in Africa – Cameroon, Ethiopia and Ghana Compared

 

TypeResearch Project
Hosting Institution(s)Centre for Area Studies, U Leipzig, Germany
Director(s) /
Spokesperson(s)/
Representative(s)
Ulf Engel
(DFG Research Training Group (GK 1261) and DFG Priority Programme (SPP 1448), U Leipzig, Germany)

Matthias Middell
(Global and European Studies Institute, U Leipzig, Germany)

David Simo
(Faculty of Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences, U Yaoundé, Cameroon)
FundingGerman Research Council (DFG)
Funding Term2013-2015
WebsiteHomepage

 

In the second project period (2013-2015), the comparative design is systematically developed with regard to the central concepts of the SPP 1448 while extending the empirical basis of our research by including another case study, Ethiopia, which offers the opportunity to bring in a very different post-colonial experience. The reason for including Ethiopia into the comparative research design is two-fold: Firstly, Ethiopia adds to the internal dimension of the research design a distinctive history of stateness and, secondly, it adds to the external dimension of the project a new angle. In combination the inter­nal and external specifics of the Ethiopia experience introduce important variations into the research design which will allow to reconsider and recontextualize the research findings on Ghana and Cameroon. Given the strong agency of the Ethiopian regime we also expect that there might be more pronounced elements and strategies of creativity in Ethiopia.


 

Changing Stateness in Africa – Practices and Imaginations from Cameroon and Ghana

 

TypeResearch Project
Hosting Institution(s)Centre for Area Studies, U Leipzig, Germany
Director(s) /
Spokesperson(s)/
Representative(s)
Ulf Engel
(DFG Research Training Group (GK 1261) and DFG Priority Programme (SPP 1448), U Leipzig, Germany)

Matthias Middell
(Global and European Studies Institute, U Leipzig, Germany)

David Simo
(Faculty of Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences, U Yaoundé, Cameroon)
FundingGerman Research Council (DFG)
Funding Term2011-2013
WebsiteHomepage

 

In the first part of the project (2011-2013), which is a common initiative of Ulf Engel (Institute of African Studies), Matthias Middell (Global and European Studies Institute) at the University of Leipzig, and David Simo from the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon, within the framework of the DFG Priority Programme (SPP 1448): "Adaptation and Creativity in Africa – Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder" aims at contributing to the debate on the nature of the state in Africa by focussing on the subjective experiences of changing stateness in Africa. The debate in the humanities and social sciences on the state in Africa is often highly normative. The state in Africa then is measured in terms of deviations from an assumed European or Western model. Unsurprisingly the state in Africa is then seen as deficient, where "juridical" trumps "empirical" statehood and the conventional narrative is one of "state decay" or "state failure". In contrast, the project asks how Africans perceive their states and what they expect from statehood.