Call for Papers: The State and Beyond: Actor Constellations in Resource Conflicts. Workshop of the working group Nature-Resources-Conflicts, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedens- und Konfliktforschung (AFK), Friday, 17 July 2015, 10:00 am – 17:30 pm, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg

In current discussions about natural resource-related conflicts there is a great emphasis on the role of transnational companies that are depicted as dominant driving forces behind the extraction of natural resources. In this context the crucial question arises which role do different government actors of target nations play?

Phenomena like the global land rush seem to illustrate that in our globalized era, the nation state and accordingly national resource politics and state behavior decisively loose influence on conflict dynamics over natural resources. Are they only a plaything of multinational corporations and, as a consequence, no longer a dominant or even relevant actor in the struggles over nature and resources? Or is it rather that especially conflicts over nature are predominantly influenced by the impact of sub-national territorial identity, traditional local authorities, and locally-acting state officials?
To further scrutinize the (changing) role of state actors on the local, regional and national level, their interactions and power relations with non-state actors on different scales, we welcome contributions concerning the following topics:

  • Do national governmental elites or local administrative authorities actively shape national resource politics and local implementation; and, if so, to whose benefit?
  • Which influence have international institutions such as the World Bank, the United Nations and IMF? In which way do their policies shape the local conflict dynamics?
  • Which effect has the constellation of actors on the way, in which resource conflicts are carried out (conflict type, alliances, forms and framing of resistance, conflict solving)?
  • What does the position and role of the nation state mean for strategies of social movement actors and other civic organizations – considering both local activists and global networkers? Who is their target – governmental actors, international institutions or transnational companies? What is the decisive scale for successful resistance?
  • In which way do large-scale resource projects change power relations between state and non-state actors on the ground?

This workshop aims to provide an open space for social scientists, geographers, social and cultural anthropologists, and scholars of other disciplines for discussing research projects in progress, as well as methodological and empirical questions.

For further information about the working group Nature-Resources-Conflicts of the German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedens- und Konfliktforschung (AFK)) see:

We welcome presentations of abstracts of master theses, research projects, PhD proposals, article drafts and other scientific work in progress. Presentations can be given in German or English but should take maximum 15 minutes. We strongly encourage interdisciplinary contributors and participants to submit or register!

Please send your proposals (max. 500 words) by 18 May 2015 to:, nina-kathrin.wienkoop(at), and annegret.maehler(at)
To provide a solid ground for discussions, final papers should be submitted by 6 July 2015. If you would like to participate without presenting a paper, please let us likewise know until 6 July 2015.

Best regards,

Corinna Land (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Annegret Mähler (GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies)
Nina-Kathrin Wienkoop (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg)