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Participation in the European Conference on African Studies (ECAS) 2023

From 31 May to 3 June 2023, our postdoc researcher Luíza Cerioli participated in the European Conference on African Studies (ECAS) in the city of Cologne, Germany. This year’s conference theme was “African Futures” and aimed to explore Africa’s critical engagements with the past, present, and future of its global entanglements. The conference brought together more than two thousand delegates from eighty countries, registering a total of 245 panels and roundtables.

Luíza Cerioli participated on the panel “Is the developmental state back? How post-neoliberal extractivism reshapes social contracts in Africa,” which was convened by Jan Sändig (University of Bayreuth) and Sarah Katz-Lavigne (University of Antwerp). She presented a paper of co-authorship with coordinator Hannes Warnecke-Berger, entitled “Linking Geopolitics, Developmental Coalitions, and Class: How States Can Overcome Extractivism in the Maghreb.”

The paper critically discussed the current debates on the developmental state, questioning the links between the emerging literature in Africa and Latin America around neoextractivism, resource nationalism and developmental plans. Moreover, it presented a three-level analytical model to grasp the conditions under which a state can implement and perform top-down developmental projects that aim at structural transformation, diversification and reduction of socio-economic inequalities. Finally, they use the cases of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to explore the advantages of this model, focusing on the three countries’ new developmental plans set on the eve of the 2020s.