Displacement Economies in Africa

Paradoxes of Crisis and Creativity

Edited by Amanda Hammar


A highly original volume analysing the effects and implications of large-scale displacement in Africa.
Large-scale displacement - whether caused by war, state-related political or development projects, different forms of political violence, structural crisis, or even natural disasters - evokes many stereotyped assumptions about those forcibly displaced or emplaced. At the same time there is a problematic lack of attention paid to the diversity of actors, strategies and practices that reshape the world in the face (and chronic aftermath) of dramatic moments of violent dislocation. In this highly original volume, based on empirical case studies from across sub-Saharan Africa, the authors reveal the paradoxical effects, both intended and unexpected, that displacement produces, and that manifest themselves in displacement economies.

An important contribution to a topic of growing scholarly and policy interest.

Author Bio

Amanda Hammar is research professor at the Centre of African Studies, Copenhagen University. She has researched and published on agrarian change, local government, state-making, sovereignty, displacement and crisis in southern Africa, with a special focus on Zimbabwe and, less so, on Mozambique.

She co-edited Zimbabwe’s Unfinished Business: Rethinking Land, State and Nation in the Context of Crisis (2003) and two journal special issues related to political economies of displacement in southern Africa Journal of Contemporary African Studies (2008) and Journal of Southern African Studies (2010). Her current work is focused on changing modes of urban governance and citizenship in times of crisis and displacement.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Displacement Economies: Paradoxes of Crisis and Creativity in Africa - Amanda Hammar
  • Part I: Economies of Rupture and Repositioning
    • 2. Securing Livelihoods. Economic Practice in the Darfur-Chad Borderlands - Andrea Behrends
    • 3. Contested Spaces, New Opportunities: Displacement, Return and the Rural Economy in Casamance, Senegal - Martin Evans
    • 4. The Paradoxes of Class: Crisis, Displacement and Repositioning in Post-2000 Zimbabwe - Amanda Hammar
  • Part II: Reshaping Economic Sectors, Markets and Investment
    • 5. Rapid Adaptations to Change and Displacements in the Lundas (Angola) - Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues
    • 6. Somali Displacements and Shifting Markets: Camel Milk in Nairobi's Eastleigh Estate - Hannah Elliott
    • 7. Diaspora Returnees in Somaliland's Displacement Economy - Peter Hansen
    • 8. Financial Flows and Secrecy Jurisdictions in Times of Crisis: Relocating Assets in Zimbabwe's Displacement Economies - Sarah Bracking
  • Part III: Confinement and Economies of Loss and Hope
    • 9. The IDP Economy in Northern Uganda: A Prisoners' Economy? - Morten Bøås and Ingunn Bjørkhaug
    • 10. 'No Move To Make': The Zimbabwe Crisis, Displacement-in-Place and the Erosion of 'Proper Places' - Jeremy Jones
    • 11. Captured Lives: the Precarious Space of Youth Displacement in Eastern DRC - Timothy Raeymaekers


'Based on empirical case studies from across sub-Saharan Africa, the contributions in this volume look to provide fresh insights into the unexpected changes, complex agency and persistent dynamism entailed in displacement processes.'
Africa at LSE

'This book provocatively asks "what does displacement produce?" Juxtaposing the experiences of different actors, drawing on rich ethnographic material, this important new volume strikes a careful balance between highlighting the agency of those often cast as victims and drawing attention to the emergence of vested interests that may perpetuate displacement.'
Oliver Bakewell, University of Oxford

'Displacement economies are the drivers of the world's economies! The contributors' innovative and creative analysis of displacement through the lens of "agency", relationality and its transformative power is a welcome addition to theories of displacement, which have previously focused on victimhood.'
Mirjam de Bruijn, Leiden University

'This superb new book brings together a range of deeply experienced contributors to offer new ways of seeing and thinking about "displacement economies".'
Christopher Cramer, SOAS, University of Londo

'Displacement Economies in Africa offers a fresh analytic perspective on the multiple dislocations brought about by war and crisis in Africa. By theorizing a "relational" rather than "operational" approach, the volume diverges from the conventional perspectives of forced migration studies. With up-to-date examples drawn from across the continent, this collection should be essential reading for students of development, migration and conflict in Africa.'
JoAnn McGregor, Sussex University

'In a new era of displacement of people from multiple rural and urban sites in Africa, this extremely timely, important and well-crafted collection of detailed field studies takes up both the intended and unexpected material and symbolic effects produced by displacement. Crucial reading!'
Jane I. Guyer, Johns Hopkins University


Publication Date: 8 May 2014
272 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780324883
Hardback: 9781780324890
eBook ePub: 9781780324913
eBook PDF: 9781780324906
eBook Kindle: 9781780324920

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