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Centre of African Studies: Events


2015 - New Political Topographies

New Political Topographies: Trans-boundary Flows, Power and Legitimation in Africa and Beyond
Date and Time
28th May 2015 09:00 - 29th May 2015 16:00
Chrystal Macmillan Building, University of Edinburgh

Hosted by Centre of African Studies with New Political Topographies Project/Politics and International Relations (PIR)

Keynotes: Rita Abrahamsen (University of Ottawa) & Andrew Barry (UCL)

Organiser: Jana Hönke, with Kathy Dodworth (University of Edinburgh)

This conference examines how the proliferation of new political actors and/or new modes of political action have affected political order in Africa and beyond. It explores how new trans-boundary connections, particularly those related to transnational, corporate, non-governmental (NGOs) and para-statal actors, shape political topographies: What new topographies of power and authority have they cultivated at local, national and transnational levels? How ‘new’ are these developments in practice? How is legitimacy constructed and contested under these conditions? How do these developments shape our understanding about statehood in ‘most of the world’ (Chatterjee 2004)?

The vibrant debates that surround new political topographies in Africa are the springboard for this workshop. We will be building on explorations of re-spacing, authority and governance beyond the state such as Callaghy et al. (2001), Mbembe (2002), Hansen/Stepputat (2006), Nugent/Engel (2010), Abrahamsen/Williams (2010), Hönke (2010) and Lund (2006), and relate it to cutting-edge work on transnationalised sites in a range of other regional contexts. We will also engage with new work in international political sociology and geography tackling method(ologies) for mapping emerging political topographies. Together, these various strands provide the basis for thinking through new political topographies from Africa/'most of the world’ and the implications of such thinking for a better understanding to the future of global politics.



Freshers 2013