Postcolonial Hierarchies

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Andrea Behrends

Humanitarian aid has been criticized for its close connection to military interventions or long-distance governance, particularly in global south contexts. With a focus on humanitarian practice, our project looks at actors, histories, and current situations of humanitarian aid, in relation to internal procedures and external critiques to decolonize aid.

In her research along the Chad-Sudan border, she studied the relations between borderland inhabitants, people who crossed the border to escape violence, national and international staff of aid organizations, rebel fighters, national and international military troops, and government employees. Andrea’s research asks, how do people categorize themselves and others in view of conflict situations? How does conflict influence ways of belonging, displacement, and emplacement? What role do digital media play in relation to peace, conflict, and aid?
Since 2019, Andrea has been a Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Bayreuth. Previously, she held temporary professorships at the Free University of Berlin, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Hamburg University, and the University of Vienna.