Politics of Resources

This research area explores the extraction, use, and valuation of natural resources in Islamicate societies. Focusing on the perspectives of local social actors, it investigates when and how a specific piece of land, a watercourse, or timber acquires or changes its value. Access to vital substances such as water and land, conflicts about their distribution, and the repercussions of oil and uranium extraction directly and existentially affect Muslim and non-Muslim social actors. Local changes are entangled with translocal circulatory and exclusionary processes. When and how do local social actors initiate, accommodate, or resist and challenge such changes? Contestations about the proper way of using natural resources touch on wider questions about social and environmental justice and on the relation between humankind and “nature”. Muslim social actors debate these issues with reference to religious norms and systems of meaning, among other things


Research Projects

Dr. Judith Scheele:

Circulation and Containment: Region Formation in the Sahara

(Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung)
Dr. Jeanne Féaux de la Croix:

Activists for a Better Future: A Comparison of Muslim Missions, Late Soviet and Contemporary Development Work in Kyrgyzstan

(until Februar 2014)