Jan Bachmann

Senior Lecturer

School of Global Studies
Visiting address
Konstepidemins väg 2 A-E
41314 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 700
40530 Göteborg

About Jan Bachmann

I am Associate Professor in Peace and Development Research. I hold a PhD in Politics from the University of Bristol, UK and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Leipzig, Germany.

Areas of interest Drawing on critical approaches within international relations, political geography, as well as Science and Technology Studies, my research focuses on questions related to political aspects of technology, infrastructure and logistics. In my ongoing work I investigate controversies that emerge around large technical systems, infrastructure projects and practices of extraction in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Current research I am currently involved in two research projects:

Shifting grounds - The politics of sand in East Africa

2021-2025 with Dr Benard Musembi Kilaka (SGS), Prof Kennedy Mkutu (USIU Nairobi) and Dr Michael Owiso (Maseno University)

Funding agency: Formas; VR Swedish Research Links

Engaging with the world's most used solid resource, this project explores contestations emerging along the nexus of extraction and trade of sand in East Africa. The project’s point of departure is that political contestations not only emerge during exploitation but also in the wider national and international logistics of sand. The project sets out to reach its objective by integrating a horizontal exploration of issues at sites of extraction— including issues of access- and user rights, political brokerage, and implications for livelihoods and the environment— and a vertical interrogation of frictions surfacing in the trading,transport and processing of this critical resource. Taking its cues from the scholarship on the politics of supply chains as well on the political ecology of extractives , this project will generate important knowledge about political dynamics related to sand. The project is guided by two interrelated research questions: How are controversies surfacing in the extraction and logistics of sand in East Africa negotiated? How do the outcomes of such negotiations reconfigure existing socio-political relations?

You can find more information about the project here.

Geopolitics at the margins: Exploring emergent political orders across the Red Sea

2022-2025 with Prof Isabell Schierenbeck (SGS) Bizusew Ashagrie (SGS) in collaboration with the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia) as well as Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey)

Funding agency: Swedish Research Council (VR)

The Red Sea Region is at the centre of new geopolitical intrigue. From significant investments in infrastructure projects, to the establishment of military bases and increased labour migration - the scope of current political, economic and security interactions between the states in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa is unprecedented. We suggest that political interaction between states is not merely driven by given geostrategic interests but relies on ideational bonds, evoked through geocultural narratives. In the latter shared pasts and common experience pave teh ground for building joint futures. Building on the literature of critical geopoliticsin this project we ask how such common ground is established across societal arenas.

More information about the project is available here.

I have recently completed this project:

Controversial corridor – studying social, environmental and security dynamics along the Lamu-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapsset)

2017-2022 with Per Knutsson (SGS) and Hussein Mahmoud (USIU Nairobi) and Benard Musembi Kilaka (SGS)

In this project we aim at studying the environmental, social and security dynamics at strategic sites along the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan- Ethiopia corridor. Combining perspectives within environmental social science and security studies, we identify and follow controversies in relation to land, livelihoods and belonging in Turkana, Isiolo and Lamu.

Our research article on the temporalities of infrastructure is available here.

Our piece on the launch of the port in Lamu is accessible here.

Teaching and tutoring

Iam currently programm director (together with Dr Florian Kühn) of the Master programme in Global Studies. I teach on various aspects within international relations, critical security studies, political geography as well as Science and Technology Studies. On the undergraduate level I am involved in courses on war, peace and security. On the graduate level I am convening the course "Technology, Politics, Society."