Nordic Africa Days 2014: Misbehaving States and Behaving Citizens? Questions of Governance in African States

Deadline: 28 February 2014 - 12:00pm

Dates: 26 - 27 September 2014


Where: Uppsala, Sweden

Venue: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet Villavägen 6, 752 36 Uppsala

The Nordic Africa Days (NAD) is the biannual conference of the Nordic Africa Institute organised for the past 15 years in the Nordic Countries, with participants representing the state of the art in African Studies and Africa related knowledge production.

The Nordic Africa Days 2014 has a thematic focus on different assumptions of governance. It cuts across research topics covering most African developments and processes, including, but not restricted to, conflict, security and democratic transformations; rural and agrarian changes, properties and resources; urban dynamics; and African international links in the global world. It is thus clearly multidisciplinary. This theme goes beyond the common reading of governance in political science or international relations. It aims to connect the formal state with other non-state forms of governance.

Often, the state is discussed as an evil entity preying on its ethical citizens. Citizens are then described as the victims of state power. But are states not run by the same people that, looking at it from the opposite angle, are viewed as victims?

 The conference is particularly inviting panels discussing governance in different ways. The suggested panels should not just be looking at the state structures and sub-national government levels, but also at the formulation and governance in alternative structures such as ethnic and religious groups and socio-economic networks, which may at times compete and at times cooperate with state orchestrated governance.

Contributions focusing on measuring and assessing governance and discussing criteria for governance and leadership are also especially encouraged.
 Although NAD 2014 has a special focus on the topic of governance it is thematically open and proposals for panels within other subject areas are welcome as well.

 PhD candidates and other young scholars are strongly encouraged to participate in the conference. The conference aims to be a forum for academic exchange and intellectual development, where contributions from a new generation of researchers are important and welcome. The conference also provides a venue for dialogue between Africa specialists within academic and policy arenas.

Keynote speakers:

Dr. Mo Ibrahim is the Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which he established in 2006 to support good governance and exceptional leadership on the African continent. He is a global expert in mobile communications and founder of Celtel International, one of Africa’s leading mobile telephone companies, and he is also Founding Chairman of Satya Capital Limited, an investment fund focused on Africa. Read more about Dr. Mo Ibrahim.

Dr. Morten Jerven’s doctoral research involved in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia and his work on the post-colonial economic performance of these countries has been published in a range of journal papers. The work is particularly innovative in investigating the construction of African growth data and showing how data quality issues are critical for the evaluation of economic performance. He is the author of the book ‘Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It’. Read more about Dr. Morten Jerven.

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