"Power You Can Trust”: Fractal Sovereignty in Sierra Leone (HYBRID)
A Kellogg Work-in-Progress Seminar with Visiting Fellow 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.
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. Her research focuses on understanding how local communities engage with international interventions and the complexities of those local responses, including the micro-politics of gender, age, religious affiliation, and ethnicity...