Re-Constructing the Colonial State: Experiences with Archival Field Research in Namibia

jagudelo General

Voices from the Field Brown Bag Speaker Series

Dr. Jan Pierskalla’s empirical analysis relies on information on the location of police stations and a near full census of police forces, compiled from the German Federal Archives. Pierskalla’s team found a mismatch between the allocation of police presence and the allocation of police forces. While the first was driven by locations’ strategic value in terms of extractive potential, political importance, and the presence of critical infrastructure, the allocation of individual officers was likely affected by adverse selection leading to the assignment of low quality recruits to strategically important locations. Pierskala will discuss experience and practical challenges of doing archival field research in Namibia, including macro strategic goals of the state and administrative challenges of personnel management in German Southwest Africa, present-day Namibia.

Wednesday, February 21st, 12-1 pm

Enarson Classroom Building Room 160 on The Ohio State University campus

The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP.

About the speaker

Dr. Jan Pierskalla, assistant professor of the Department of Political Science, has research interests in comparative politics and development of political violence. Pierskalla has been published in various journals such as the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Conflict Resolution and Political Geography. Pierskalla has a comprehensive list of his fascinating research projects on his website.


If you can’t make it to the session, the talk will be live streamed and recorded. Streaming logistics: If you don’t have a university login, just enter as a guest. Your system should automatically download a flash plug-in that will allow Adobe Connect to run in your browser. Email Laura Joseph with questions.

About the Series

The Voices from the Field Brown Bag Speaker Series is a collaboration between the Center for African Studies, the Global One Health initiative, and the Global Water Institute. Sessions are held Wednesdays from 12-1 in Enarson 160.

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Photo: Jan Pierskalla.