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African futures and the new boundaries of the anthropology of development and social change 
Marie Deridder (UCLouvain)
Philippe Lavigne Delville (Institut de recherche pour le développement)
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Benjamin Rubbers (Université de Liège)
Anthropology (x) Inequality (y)
Neues Seminargebäude, Seminarraum 15
Wednesday 31 May, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

Since the 1990s, the world of international development has expended. New processes are shaping the twenty-first century. This panel explores the new boundaries of the anthropology of development and social change in Africa, in relation with its contemporary socio-political and economic dynamics.

Long Abstract:

The contemporary post-9/11 Africa is analysed through the lens of disruptions and crises, while global capitalism deepens inequality at all scales. The development industry in Africa has gone through important changes in recent years. More bureaucratic and technocratic than ever, it has integrated a growing number of management tools and practices. Internal and external criticisms or radical initiatives have been co-opted, absorbed, de-politicised and neutralised without significantly challenging existing power relations. Meanwhile, development projects are increasingly funded, or carried out in partnership with non-western actors and/or non-traditional organizations such as private funds, corporations, charities and churches, and focus on issues that did not strictly enter the purview of development in the past (peace, climate change, migration, security, mining, etc.). As a result, the boundaries of “development” – what it is, who brings it, where and to whom – have become blurred.

This panel invites contributions based on ethnographic research in Africa that provide fresh insights on (1) these transformations in the development industry; (2) their interrelations with the new economic, political, environmental, security and sanitary changes confronted by the African continent in recent years; (3) and/or their consequences for the anthropology of development and social change. The aim of the panel is to reflect, and engage a discussion, on the new boundaries of the anthropology of development and the aid industry, in terms of issues, actors, concepts and objects, that will contribute to shape African futures.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -
Session 2 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -