Stopped Trains? Race and Institutional Capacity in Namibian Environmental Management

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Mark Gardiner
Date and Time: 
Monday, January 27, 2014 - 12:00pm

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)


This paper, part of a larger chapter on race and the state in Namibia, discusses public and private narratives of institutional decline in the Namibian government since independence in 1990. The country's government is understood by many to not be up to the task of managing the activities of transnational mining firms in the Namib. In this paper, anxieties and tensions about that lack of "capacity" are investigated in light of Namibia's decolonization, the rolling back of its state, and the racialized nature of expertise.


Mark Gardiner is a dissertation writer in the Department of Anthropology. His dissertation, "Technocracy in white and black: nation, race, and nature in the management of Namibian uranium," examines processes of state- and nation-making in the context of a uranium "rush" in the Namib Desert.

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