Sovereignties and Citizenship – University of Copenhagen

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Research Platform on Sovereignties and Citizenship


In both urban and rural spaces across Africa, diverse citizens and parallel sovereign authorities (both state and non-state) are engaged in formal and informal processes to compete or cooperate over power, identity, territory and resources. The Research Platform on Sovereignties and Citizenship is concerned with exploring such processes and their consequences for differently positioned actors at varied scales.
The Platform takes as a starting point the fact that the African continent is a space of immense social, spatial, cultural, political and economic variation, which is constantly being reshaped by the simultaneity of crisis, continuity, creativity and contestation. Under such dynamic conditions, the ongoing challenges of state formation and nation-building on the one hand, and everyday forms of governance on the other, are substantial, including the demands of providing adequate public services, goods and security and social well-being, and of ensuring inclusion and access to the rights and protections of citizenship. At the same time, collective identities are being asserted through various social and institutional actors and practices to demarcate domains of sovereignty and belonging beyond the formal spaces of state and nation.

Central research questions concern:

  • State formation and the making of multiple sovereignties
  • The social production of citizenship and strangerhood as well as non-citizenship
  • The paradoxes of displacement and confinement
  • The intensification of linkages between securitization, governance and development.

Platform Researchers:

Amanda Hammar, MSO Professor in African Studies (Platform Leader)
Hannah Rose Elliott, PhD.
Karen Lauterbach, Associate Professor
Toke Andreas Wolff, PhD.