CRC-TRR Public Lecture: Asebe Debelo

Mon | December 18, 2023 | 16:00 – 17:30  CET

We are excited for the next volume of the Future Rural Africa Public Lectures Series.

Dr. Asebe Debelo is a senior scientist at the University of Zürich’s Department of Geography.

Frontier Making and State Consolidation in Ethiopia’s Pastoralist Peripheries

In this presentation, I will focus on the making, remaking, and unmaking of resource frontiers in Ethiopia’s pastoralist peripheries, and how it enhances the consolidation of state power. Frontiers are sites of violent resource appropriation that often lead to massive dispossession and displacement of local populations. I conceptualize frontiers from four interrelated perspectives – as discursive geographical imaginations of spaces, as spaces of resource extraction (capitalist production), as spaces of state power consolidation (a political project), and as spaces of contestation and negotiation. In the context of Ethiopia, I situate frontier-making within the historical processes of state formation, and I consider how the political project of state consolidation constituted the reordering of existing practices, knowledges, and ways of life of frontier populations. I situate the making and unmaking of resource frontiers in Ethiopia within the historical trajectories that established discursively constructed, imaginatively articulated, and administratively designed center–periphery relations. I argue that frontiers are also sites of contestation over property regimes, sovereignty and development narratives and practices.

Venue:

Tagungsraum, Neues Seminargebäude,
University of Cologne,
Universitätsstraße 37
50931 Cologne

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