"Power You Can Trust”: Fractal Sovereignty in Sierra Leone (HYBRID)

Susan Shepler
Work-in-Progress Seminars are designed to generate in-depth discussion of new scholarly work. In accordance with University guidelines for social distancing, these seminars will offer a possibility of remote participation. To attend either in person or virtually, please register here to receive the pre-circulated paper and further details on joining on campus or by computer or phone.

A Kellogg Work-in-Progress Seminar with Visiting Fellow Susan Shepler. 

Susan Shepler
Kellogg Institute Visiting Fellow
Associate Professor in the School of International Service, American University

This work in progress seminar will discuss a nascent book project entitled “Fractal Sovereignty.” The book is about the complex political space of Sierra Leone, where multiple actors may make claims on sovereignty, from the state, to the international community, to traditional rulers, to secret societies and more.  As a work of political anthropology, the data is primarily ethnographic work on citizens’ governance seeking practices.  The goal of the book is to seek to understand African political systems in all their complexity, rather than as underdeveloped and always less than a Western ideal.

Registration required.

Speakers / Related People
Susan Shepler

This profile was current as of 2021, when she was part of the on-campus Kellogg community. Susan Shepler is an anthropologist and an associate professor in the School of International Service at American University with extensive experience working in conflict-affected West Africa...
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