Oil and social Change in Niger and Chad (2011 - 2017)

An Anthropological Cooperative Research Project on Technologies, Signification and Processes of Creative Adaption in Relation to African Oil Production

The project is designed as a follow-up to the project "Significations of oil and social change in Niger and Chad" (2011-13). It carries the same title and aims at completing, supplementing, and further developing in empirical and theoretical scope the work and results of the first project phase. The project team has proposed to develop a distinctly anthropological perspective on the social transformations that can currently be observed in the newly emerging oil states of Africa. This distinctly anthropological perspective consists of four key elements of the research setup. First, a methodological focus on real-time observation of social situations and events as they unfold during the early phase of the formation of an oil state and its industry; therefore the choice of Niger and Chad as young African oil states; second, a theoretical focus on processes of social and political interaction between various social categories and groups through which order and significations are produced; third an equally theoretical focus on the core concepts of the PP (notably signification, creativity, translation adaptation, (dis-) order, and technology) that help to bring into field of view hitherto less noticed phenomena and processes related to oil; fourth an organisational focus on collaboration and close exchange of the German research team (from three institutes of Africa-oriented anthropology) with partners from France, Niger and Chad. An explicit focus lies on promoting young African and German scholars.

Project Phase III: 01.03.2015 - 28.02.2017
Project Phase II: 01.03.2013 - 28.02.2015
Project Phase I: 01.03.2011 - 28.02.2013

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Main Project:
Adaptation and Creativity in Africa - Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder

Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Schareika
University of Göttingen

Dr. Jannik Schritt
University of Göttingen

Dr. Annika Witte
University of Göttingen

Dr. Andrea Behrends
University of Halle-Wittenberg

Prof. Dr. Thomas Bierschenk
University of Mainz

Prof. Dr. Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan
Laboratoire d’Études et de Recherches sur les Dynamiques Sociales et le Développement Locale, Niamey

Prof. Dr. Mahaman Tidjani Alou
Laboratoire d’Études et de Recherches sur les Dynamiques Sociales et le Développement Locale, Niamey

Schritt, Jannik (2013): Transnational Governmentality of Energy Security after 9/11. Coup d’état, Terrorism, Militarization, and Oil in Niger. In: Colaguori, Claudio (ed.): Security, Life and Death: Governmentality and Biopower in the Post-9/11 Era. Toronto: De Sitter Publications.

Behrends, Andrea, Stephen P. Reyna und Günther Schlee (eds.) (2011): Crude Domination. An Anthropology of Oil. Oxford: Berghahn.

Behrends, Andrea und Nikolaus Schareika (2011): Öl, Staat, Ressourcenfluch. In Nikolaus Schareika, Eva Spies und Yves Le Meur (eds) Auf dem Boden der Tatsachen. Festschrift für Thomas Bierschenk, 465-475. Cologne: Köppe Verlag.

Behrends, Andrea und Nikolaus Schareika (2010): Significations of Oil in Africa Or: What (More) Can Anthropologists Contribute to the Study of Oil? In: Soumen Antropologi 35: 83-86.

Behrends, Andrea (2008): Fighting for Oil when there is No Oil Yet. The case of the Chad-Sudan border. In: Focaal 52: 39-56.