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African Governance and Space: Transport Corridors, Border Towns and Port Cities in Transition

Objective

AFRIGOS investigates the process of 'respacing' Africa, a political drive towards regional and continental integration, on the one hand, and the re-casting of Africa's engagement with the global economy, on the other. This is reflected in unprecedented levels of investment in physical and communications infrastructure, and the outsourcing of key functions of Customs, Immigration and security agencies. AFRIGOS poses the question of how far respacing is genuinely forging institutions that are facilitating or obstructing the movement of people and goods; that are enabling or preventing urban and border spaces from being more effectively and responsively governed; and that take into account the needs of African populations whose livelihoods are rooted in mobility and informality. The principal research questions are approached through a comparative study of port cities, border towns and other strategic nodes situated along the busiest transport corridors in East, Central, West and Southern Africa. These represent sites of remarkable dynamism and cosmopolitanism, which reflects their role in connecting African urban centres to each other and to other global cities.

AFRIGOS considers how governance 'assemblages' are forged at different scales and is explicitly comparative. It works through 5 connected Streams that address specific questions: 1. AGENDA-SETTING is concerned with policy (re-)formulation. 2. PERIPHERAL URBANISM examines governance in border towns and port cities. 3. BORDER WORKERS addresses everyday governance emerging through the interaction of officials and others who make their livelihoods from the border. 4. CONNECTIVE INFRASTRUCTURE looks as the transformative effects of new technologies. 5. PEOPLE & GOODS IN MOTION traces the passage of people and goods and the regimes of regulation to which they are subjected. AFRIGOS contributes to interdisciplinary research on borderland studies, multi-level governance and the everyday state.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/sociology/social problems/migration
  • /social sciences/sociology/governance
  • /social sciences/social and economic geography/transport

Call for proposal

ERC-2014-ADG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-ADG - Advanced Grant

Host institution

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Address
Old College, South Bridge
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 2 491 364

Beneficiaries (1)

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 2 491 364
Address
Old College, South Bridge
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments