Space, Fields, Assemblages: The Study of Africa in International Relations
Prof. Rita Abrahamsen (U Ottawa)
|Date||Wednesday, 14 June 2017, 5:15 pm – 6:45 pm|
|Location||SFB 1199 | Strohsackpassage | Nikolaistraße 6-10 | 5th floor | 04109 Leipzig|
Situated at the intersection of International Relations and African studies, this lecture considers ways of negotiating the tensions between attention to the general and the specific, the global and the local. In particular, it explores Bourdieu’s concept of “field” as an approach to study transnational relations and processes and illustrates this through an analysis of the merger of development and security. Starting from within an enclaved gold mine in rural Tanzania, the lecture shows how the roles, alliances, and forms of cooperation and competition between security, development, and corporate actors are best understood as a deep structural transformation of the transnational field of development and as a post-9/11 struggle between diverse actors over the “soul” of development. To capture the depth and significance of these transformations, the lecture traces the emergence of the field of development to the immediate post-war period and the ensuing Cold War tensions. Mapping its actors, structure of values, and forms of power and capital, the lecture portrays how the (re)inclusion of security into the field involves a series of social struggles between different actors, interests, values, and forms of power and capital played out within a transnational field, but with distinct local articulations and consequences.
Prof. Rita Abrahamsen (U Ottawa, Canada)
Rita Abrahamsen is a professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. Her research and teaching focus on African politics, security and development, security privatization, and postcolonial theory. Her work has been widely published in renowned journals and she was the joint-editor of African Affairs, the highest ranked journal in African studies, from 2009 to 2014. Her publications include Security Beyond the State: Private Security in International Politics (2011, with M.C. Williams) and Disciplining Democracy: Development Discourse and the Good Governance Agenda in Africa (2000). Rita holds a PhD in politics from the University of Wales. She has taught at the University of Aberystwyth and was a visiting fellow at the University of Cape Town, the European University Institute in Florence, the University of Queensland in Brisbane, the International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Oslo, and the Centre for Advanced Security Theory (CAST) at the University of Copenhagen.
Image source: U Ottawa, Link (6 June 2017)