Twenty-first EDEM seminar: The Territorial Dynamics of Colonial State-Building

Category: research

8 Sep 2014

Alexander De JuanWhat factors shape the geographical patterns of state-presence and state-capacity? In order to answer this question we go back to early attempts of territorial state-building: we investigate spatio-temporal processes of state penetration and state consolidation in the former colony of German East-Africa. Contrary to previous studies, emphasizing structural and pre-colonial factors, we develop and analyze hypotheses explicitly focusing on the dynamics of three main explanatory variables: accessibility, extraction and acceptance. We test our propositions using an original, geo-referenced grid-cell dataset for the years 1890 to 1909. Information on various dimensions of state presence and the colony’s socio-economic characteristics stems from extensive historical records in German colonial yearbooks and military maps. Our statistical and complementary qualitative analyses show that state expansion has strongly been driven by reactions to instances of violent opposition, as well as by the strategic objective of maximizing territorial coverage.


From: 25 September 2014 16:00
Till:    25 September 2014 17:00

Room: 4.42

Alexander De Juan is a Research Fellow with the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Tübingen (2010). His work on the role of ethnic and religious cleavages as well as on state capacity and violent conflict includes articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Peace Research (forthcoming), Political Geography (forthcoming) or Conflict Management and Peace Science (2014). From 2008 to 2011 he has worked as a Sector Economist with the German Development Bank (KfW) where he has been in charge of post-war reconstruction projects in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali. He is currently leading three third-party funded projects investigating various historical and contemporary dimensions of the nexus between state-building and political violence.

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