Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies
AEGIS Summer School, Cagliari, 24-28 June 2014
Mobilisation and the State in Africa: Multiple Spaces for Political Action
The 2014 Summer school will focus on the theme of Political Mobilisation and the State in Africa: Multiple Spaces of Political Action. The continent is marked by both older and emerging forms and spaces of political action, as well as familiar and new types and combinations of political actors. The aim of the School is to explore the historical roots of contemporary political behaviour in a range of settings; that is, it aims to trace how historical dynamics and evolving conditions have helped to shape both old and new spaces for political and civil society actions; how they may have been part of re-moulding or creating alternative political spaces, actors and practices. The School will also encourage the analysis of political representations and cultural mediations of power in a way that goes beyond simple binaries (such as formal vs. informal and high politics vs. politics from below). The spatial, social and symbolic arenas where power is exercised, contested and mediated may be both material and discursive in nature, opening up for a variety of sites of investigation and of theoretical and methodological approaches. The School will be structured around thematic yet interdisciplinary panels, facilitated by a senior researcher with a specific interest in the theme, who will present some of his/her own work in a plenary session. Papers in the thematic panels will be presented by the participating students. Both the senior researcher and the students will perform the role of discussants on these papers. Special attention will be given to methodological discussions, and to the place of history in understanding contemporary politics; in addition papers from the full range of disciplines and geographical and topical research sites are welcomed.