I am professor in Cultural Anthropology. Since 1988 I have conducted anthropological research in Burkina Faso and since 2008 also in Mali. In September 1998, I defended a PhD-thesis on dispute settlement between farmers and herders in Burkina Faso. Nowadays my research concerns political culture, municipal democracy, local development and popular struggle in Mali and Burkina Faso. I am also the Director of Uppsala University's Forum for Africa Studies.
Keywords: africa human security west africa anthropology everyday politics
Since 1988 I have conducted anthropological research in Burkina Faso and since 2008 also in Mali. In September 1998, I defended a PhD-thesis on dispute settlement between farmers and herders in Burkina. Nowadays my research concerns political culture, municipal democracy, local development, and popular struggle. Theoretically and practically, I am interested in methodological developments including field research in insecure terrains and epistemological challenges of team research. Due to changing geo-political contexts in West Africa, I am also working with security from below in Burkina Faso and Mali. I am the Director of Uppsala University's Forum for Africa Studies.
Nowadays I am particularly involved in PhD education, such as PhD-supervisor and research leader. In the period 2017-22, I lead research programs in Mozambique where five PhD students in Cultural Anthropology from the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo will be educated at Uppsala University. In 2018-20, I lead the program Burkina Faso seen from below in collaboration with the Institute of Sciences of Sociétés in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Since 2016, I am Associate Senior Fellow at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Since 2019, I am member of the Advisory Group of the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy.
Since its beginnings in 2012 I have led Forum for Africa Studies at Uppsala Univeristy: 2012-17 I was the chair and since 1 July 2017 I am the Director of this interdisciplinary research centre.
My work as editor has become a key part of my research commitment. I am one of the Editors-in-Chief of kritisk etnografi: Swedish Journal of Anthropology, a peer-review journal owned and published by Svenska Sällskapet för Antropologi och Geografi. Since 2017, I am the Series Editor of Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology of the Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, and of Uppsala Papers in Africa Studies. I am furthermore member of the scientific council of Afrique contemporaine and a corresponding member of Cahiers d'Études africaines.
Since 2020, I am the Director of the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Comparative, Engagée et Transnationale (LACET), a research initiative founded by Burkinabe, Malian and Swedish colleagues to create a common research environment around engaged anthropology. More information in English here.
I have taken up leadership positions in scientific associations and societies. Between 2007 and 2013, I was President of the Association for the Anthropology of Social Change and Development (APAD). For four years (2013-2017), I was the President of Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography (SSAG). In my capacity of President-Elected of the Mande Studies Association (MANSA), I am leading the organization of the Conference Beyond Insecurity and Crisis in West Africa. The conference that should have taken place in June 2020, is now rescheduled to 16-20 June 2021.
I am regularly intervene in media, as I consider that it is of utmost importance to reach out with anthropological knowledge. Read more here.
When it comes to undergraduate teaching nowadays I am particularly involved in African Studies, but I do also give occasional lectures in the basic education in anthropology. I like teaching and have also been on ERASMUS staff mobility in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, and Tunisia.
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