Prof. Dr. Thomas Bierschenk


Research interests
Development, State and Politics; Islam

Research areas
Africa (in particular Francophone West- and Central Africa); Arab World (in particular Arab Peninsula, Persian/Arabian Gulf)

When Tiny Benin Shook Dictators Across Africa

Long before the Arab Spring, a tiny West African nation showed the way to sustainable democratic transitions.

By Charu Sudan Kasturi • MAR 22 2018 • OZY Media, digital magazine. ... 

Les impressions de trois enseignants ayant participé activement à  la 8ème université d'été - to be translated

Prof.Bierschenk (from minute 5:00) interviewed at the recent LASDEL summer school in Niamet/Niger on the practical challenges of a decolonialized sociology of Africa (in French).  ... 

A Comment on Current Trends in the Anthropology of Bureaucracy – A Report - to be translated

May 14 2018, ‘Allegra Lab: Anthropology, Law, Art & World’ ( ... 

The State, Anthropology, and the South: bringing different networks and research traditions into dialogue

International Workshop (closed), May 18 -19, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Bringing anthropologies of the state to Mainz: A workshop report

Conveners: Thomas Bierschenk (Mainz); Heath Cabot (Pittsburgh); Heike Drotbohm (Mainz). With the participation of Jan Beek, Manuela Ivone Cunha, Marie-Christine Gabriel, Tom de Herdt, Barak Kalir, Annalena Kolloch, Konstanze N’Guessan, Timothy Raeymakers and Eva Riedke

African capitalisms: Bringing the entrepreneur back in

Panel at the 7th European Conference on African Studies (ECAS 7), Basel, Switzerland, 29 June to 1 July 2017 ... 

European Summer Academy for the Anthropology of Development and Social Dynamics, Mainz, 18. – 20. Mai 2017
States at Work. Dynamics of African Bureaucracies

edited by Thomas Bierschenk and Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan
published by Brill, Leiden in 2014

Ethnologie im 21. Jahrhundert.

Thomas Bierschenk, Matthias Krings u. Carola Lentz (Hg.): Ethnologie im 21. Jahrhundert. Berlin: Reimer.

50 Jahre Unabhängigkeit in Afrika Kontinuitäten, Brüche, Perspektiven

Herausgegeben von Thomas Bierschenk und Eva Spies. Reihe: Mainzer Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung Band 30 

Current research project

Significations of Oil and Social Change in Niger and Chad: An anthropological cooperative research project on technologies and processes of creative adaptation in relation to African oil production
Subproject of SPP 1448 “Adaptation and Creativity in Africa - Technologies and Significations in the Production of Order and Disorder”.