Postdoc (2011-2012)


The Reach of the Eritrean State:Surveillance and Governance of Eritrean Migrants in Europe

Swiss National Science Foundation "Prospective Researcher" Fellowshipfor one year research hosted at the African Studies Centre of Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Summary:

This research is at the cross-road of three fields of study: anthropology of the state, transnational studies, and surveillance studies. It examines the processes of surveillance and governance that the current Eritrean state and its unique party exercise on Eritrean communities in two countries in Europe (Switzerland and The Netherlands). In particular, it focuses on the articulation and the limits of social and political logics of these processes, on their transnational and historical dimensions and on the consequences these have on social relationships. Ethnographic study will be conducted in Eritrean communities in the two countries mentioned above.

The research is structured in two analytical sections. The first analyses governance techniques and transnational schemes that the Eritrean state applies on Eritrean citizens residing in Europe. Critical emphasis is made on the transnational political institutions of the Eritrean state that aim at mobilising resources for the country and at controlling political activities of Eritreans in Europe. The second part discusses believes, representations and feelings that Eritreans have regarding the Eritrean state and the ruling party. This section analyses political figures such as the 'traitor' or the 'spy' and political rationales and moral reasoning - revealing tensions among the communities in Europe.