Diana Ayeh

Having studied political science, African studies, and international development in Leipzig, Bordeaux, and Berlin, my current research focuses on processes of spatialization and politics of belonging in the vicinity of industrial gold mining projects in Burkina Faso. I am further interested in postcolonial debates and contemporary migration regimes. Due to my research interest, I am member of an organization that is concerned with translating scientific and postcolonial theory into political practice.



Current Research Project

Gold Mining and New Regulations of (Sub)National Spaces in Africa: Company-state-community Relations in Burkina Faso

With growing demand for gold, resulting from the recent global financial crisis, and the liberalization of the mining sector in the 1990s, African countries have seen a surge in foreign large-scale mining operations. Looking at the processes of de- and reterritorialization connected with the expansion of global capital, the dissertation project investigates to what extent processes of enclaving are taking place in the vicinity of industrial gold mining projects in Burkina Faso. Based on the assumption that the agency of national and sub-national actors in shaping these processes and regulating the globally organized capital has increased, it will be analyzed how interactions between company, state and community actors are (not) taking place and how the resulting relations become expressed spatially. While nodes of resource governance in the gold mining sector are shaped by different norms and sovereignties, stakeholders make reference to global, national and local policy frameworks, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the national mining code or local law. In order to "unbundle" the social production of "extractive enclaves", competing strategies of inclusion and exclusion through discourses of rights claimed and abused with regard to land, membership, or resources will be of particular interest for the research. A central question that will be discussed is to what extent the physical and discursive demarcation of concession borders by transnational corporations entails consultation processes, and eventually leads to a (re)definition of what constitutes the "mining community". These micro-politics of negotiation will be analyzed out of an actor-centered perspective.

Research Interests

• Anthropology of mining
• Politics of belonging
• Transnational migration
• Diversity and social inclusion
• Postcolonial developments
• Representations of Africa

Academic CV

2015: Postgraduate Studies, International Development Cooperation, Humboldt U Berlin, Germany
2014: MA, African Studies, U Leipzig, Germany
2013: MA, African Studies, Institut d´Études Politiques, U Bordeaux, France
2011 : BA, Political Science, U Leipzig, Germany

Academic positions:
Since 2016: Junior Researcher, U Leipzig, Germany
2015: Junior Researcher, Humboldt U Berlin, Germany
2014: Research Assistant, U Leipzig, Germany

Since 2011: Member, Working Group "Postkolonial", Engagierte Wissenschaft e. V., Leipzig, Germany


Ayeh, Diana, Bettina Kieck, Paul Beitzer, Nora Gerdes, Philipp Günther, and Britta Wiemers: Inclusion grows. Developing a manual on disability mainstreaming for the German Development Cooperation. Case study in Namibia. SLE Publication Series S265 (Berlin: SLE Centre for Rural Development, 2016).

Ayeh, Diana, Christine Plastrotmann, and Sabrina Ziesemer, "Verantwortung ohne Grenzen? Deutsche Entwicklungszusammenarbeit im Kontext von Flucht und Vertreibung". SLE Briefing Paper 09 (2016).

Ayeh, Diana, Natascha Bing, Stefan Kausch, Kathleen Rahn, and Luise Wendebourg (eds.), "Auf postkolonialen Spuren in Leipzig. Ein Stadtplan" (Leipzig: Engagierte Wissenschaft e.V., 2015).


"Qualitative and Quantitative Methoden" (Tutorial), U Leipzig, Germany, Summer 2014

Conferences and Workshops

Conference Papers
"Company-state-community Relations and the 'Ethical Turn' of Corporate Capitalism", VAD Young Scholars' Conference Berlin, 20 July 2016

Workshops organized