ESR Project 2

Borderlands and Livelihood Security: Social and Economic Dynamics

Supervisors Christian Gade (Aarhus University) and Steven van Wolputte (University of Leuven).

Human security is often precarious in zones straddling international borders where community dynamics transcend state boundaries. At the same time, borderlands can be important hubs of resources and human creativity. This PhD project will describe and compare a selected borderland zone from different national and local perspectives through ethnographic case studies to explore various social and economic dynamics.  The project will historically chart the social, political and spatial development of the borderland zone, and assess the disconnections and connections created across borderlands due to various flows (e.g. goods, people, money). The project will explore security and mobility related to livelihoods, seasonal variations and climate change. 

The project should be based on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork and must include 3 months of secondment to a non-academic institution or project working with borderland dynamics, where The PhD student will take part in on-going work and development programs. One possibility for secondment is the World Bank project on Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project (RPLRP) in the borderlands between Kenya and Uganda.