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New geopolitics in the Red Sea region 
Bizusew Ashagrie (University of Gothenburg)
Yohannes Tekalign Beza (Institute for Peace and Security Studies, Addis Ababa University)
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Politics and International Relations (x) Futures (y)
Philosophikum, S81
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

The Red Sea region is at the center of a new geopolitical intrigue. By considering African actors as co-designers of the emergent collaborations, this panel seeks to explore the array of political, economic, and social relations across the Red Sea.

Long Abstract:

The Red Sea region is at the center of a new geopolitical intrigue. The intensity and diversity of political, economic, and social cooperation between states in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East is unprecedented. Conventional explanations tend to emphasize national interests that drive actors in the Middle East to project their power into the Horn of Africa--a view that casts African actors as mere spectators in a geopolitical game. This panel suggests instead that African actors are co-designers of their relationships to players in the Middle East. We posit that political interactions between states rely on the establishment of a common ideational ground. The latter may build on imaginaries of uniqueness, on shared legacies of exchange and connectivity, or shared spatial visions for the region.

The panel seeks to explore the entanglement of East African/Horn of Africa states in the Red Sea region in the past, present and future. We invite papers that empirically or conceptually explore the multiplicity of those ties by zeroing in on how notions of space, history, and identity are mobilized for making claims about as well as enacting new political orders in the region.

Empirically, the panel is open for a broad range of cases and policy areas, such as security arrangements, infrastructure projects, or issues of migration. Theoretically, contributions may build on perspectives within political geography (from logistics, infrastructure studies to critical geopolitics), international relations, or anthropology. In addition, the panel encourages proposals with a diverse set of methodological approaches.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -