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Conceptual issues in human security and local governance in Africa 
Hans Peter Hahn (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)
Thompson Gyedu Kwarkye (University of Oxford)
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Anthropology (x) Futures (y)
Philosophikum, S65
Thursday 1 June, -, Friday 2 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

This panel questions the potential contribution of the concept of Human Security for a better future in rural Africa. The focus will be on local governance and institutions, stakeholders and administration's capacity to contribute to wellbeing, improved livelihood and security at the local levels.

Long Abstract:

Human Security is broadly defined as a human-centred approach that recognizes the prevention of direct or physical violence and the protection against other threats to the safety, well-being and livelihoods of individuals at the local levels ( While this might be uncontested, the picture is more controversial with regard to the contribution of local governance in Africa and its institutions, capacities and reforms. Do they really contribute to wellbeing, service delivery and welfare services enhancing human security?

This panel assumes that there are norms and institutions in local governance that have the potential to provide prospects for improving livelihoods, democratic hopes and ultimately, human security. However, to what extent this is a priority, and to what degree Human Security is a priority for local governance including institutions? What are the capacities and reforms, that make up a strong and local framework for Human Security in rural areas?

In answering one of the thematic questions of the conference; 'what constitutes the future?' this panel will explore critical questions on contemporary realities and discourses on government (in)ability, (in)capacity or failure of governmental institutions and administrative entities; and the filling of these gaps by informal institutions, reforms and the interactions of actors. This will be done also by critically re-evaluating entrenched norms originating from the colonial and post-colonial era, and by gauging its role in shaping and eventually strengthening the future relevance of local institutions.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -