CRC-TRR 228 Projects – Overview

Our Projects

The CRC is structured in three project groups, each organized arond a bridging concept that addresses specific aspects of social-ecological transformation and future-making. Project group A (‘coupling’) studies the articulation between social and ecological subsystems, B (‘boundaries’) looks at the shifting zones of interaction and confrontation, and C (‘linkages’) explores cross-scalar drivers, connections and causations.


Future Carbon Storage

Synergies and trade-offs of carbon storage along pathways of land transformation

Project A01 investigates social-ecological coupling mechanisms involved in three ongoing transformation pathways: conservation, agricultural intensification, and restoration.


Past Futures

Micro-histories of rural development in southern Tanzania

Past Futures investigates the history of ‘future-making’ in KAZA, considering the history of rural development and the history of political schemes devised for the administration and control of the KAZA region.

A03 (Ended in December 2021)


Scales of variability, human-environment interactions, and patterns in agro-landscapes

Project A03 empircally tests considerations of the size and scale dependency of variability and its implications for future crop production for lowland rice intensification in the Kilombero floodplain in Tanzania.


Future Conservation

Towards an African Eden? Shifting bio-cultural frontiers and the (re)coupling of social-ecological relations in the conservation areas

This project focuses on the coupling of social, cultural and material dynamics in social-ecological systems under various regimes of conservation from the perspective of political ecology, neo-materialist as well as multi-species approaches.


Future Roads

Road mediated trade-offs between conservation and development

This project assesses the impacts of road development on rural communities, biodiversity, ecosystem services and the trade-offs between them.


Invasive Futures

The social ecology of rangelands in changing savanna ­environments

Invasive Futures aims to develop an integrated social-ecological model, projecting future land-use changes and social transformations under alien plant species invasion.


Future Infections

Linking social-ecological transformations and arbovirus prevalence

The focus of project B02 is to Improve the understanding of the impact of large-scale land-use changes like conservation, agricultural intensification, and road development on facilitating the introduction and spread of vector-borne pathogens into a new environment.


Violent Futures ?

Contestations along the frontier

Project B03 aims at utilizing the concept of frontiers to analyse the relations between future-making and dynamics of violence in East Africa.

B04 (Ended in December 2021)

Projecting Futures

Resource-use conflict, intergenerational tensions, and competing visions of future-making in the Kenyan Rift Valley

The goal of project B04 is to develop a conceptual framework for the analysis of modes of future-making at the intersections of local, national and transnational arenas, thereby contributing to an understanding of changing state-society relations in contemporary “late” capitalism.


Science Futures

Between “intensification” and “conservation” discourses on African rural development

Project B05 Science Futures aims to illuminate the role that scientific and non-scientific knowledge systems play on the imagination and pursuit of rural futures in Africa. 


Future in Chains

Socio-economic impacts of growth corridors

The goal of project C01 is to explain socio-ecological transformation in cross-border growth corridors, and assess long-term developments and adaptive capacities connected to emerging (inter-)national value chains.


Energy Futures

Infrastructures and governance for renewable energies

The outlook of project C02 energy futures is to broaden the so-far still scarce academic knowledge on infrastructures and governance for renewable, especially geothermal, energy in the Global South.


Green Futures

Ecological growth and the politics of land-use change

The project scrutinizes the ambiguity of large irrigation infrastructures as promising solutions to anticipated future problems and at the same time as creators of new uncertainties for local populations. It views hydro-development schemes in Kenya and Tanzania as arenas of future-making, where different actors struggle for control over the appropriation and allocation of resources.

C04 (Ended in December 2021)

Smart Futures

Transforming human-nature relations through mobile information services

The goal of project C04 is to understand the ways in which the digital mediation of future-oriented knowledge informs social-ecological transformations, and explore entanglements between technology, humans, and nature.


Framing Futures

Temporal frames of reference in land conversions

Project C05 aims to understand how concepts of age and generation shape temporal frames of reference in future-making and compare temporal frames of reference used by different CRC projects.

C06 (Ended in December 2021)

Testing Futures

Cross-scalar linkages as coping strategies for socio-economic exclusion

The research project scrutinizes the practices through which migrants deal with the fragility of future-making in changing and unstable environments. We zoom in on the formation of “communities of practice” in work arrangements of wage labour in multinational companies, land leasing and farming in changing agricultural zones, as well as fishing and tourism in aquatic spaces.


Creating Health Futures

Welfare-policy planning in Tanzania from the 1960s to the 1980s

Project C07 works towards understanding the role of public-health policy planning under changing concepts of social welfare and political legitimation as it relates to “future-making”.


Job Futures

Agriculture, rural transformation and employment

Project C08 analyses job futures under diverse conditions in rural Africa with a particular focus on linkages between agricultural transformation, infrastructuring, and equitable employment.


Central Administrative Project

The task of projec Z01 is to establish management structures and provide a conducive environment fostering inter-disciplinary collaboration and cross-project and cross-site comparison.


Data Management and Services (INF)

Research data management (RDM) consists of all processes and measures to ensure research data is well organized, documented, preserved, stored, backed up, accessible, available and re-usable.


Combined Farm & Household Survey

The Z03 project supports all other projects in the centralized management and implementation of longitudinal quantitative surveys in all the study regions.


Integrated Research and Training Group (IRTG)

The IRTG builds on existing PhD programmes at both partner universities and complements them with a training programme that addresses the particular design and interests of the collaborative research center (CRC). The IRTG thus enhances the exchange and coherence within the interdisciplinary yet thematically focused CRC and provides opportunities for early career researchers (ECR) to strengthen disciplinary skills in the context of well established programmes.

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