Subproject 1

Subproject 1:

Mobility and Institutions of Intermediary Rule in Southern Africa

Principal Investigator
Prof Dr Katharina Inhetveen (University of Siegen)
PD Dr Mario Krämer (University of Cologne)

Laura Pargen, M.A. (University of Siegen)

This research project investigates the interrelation between institutions of rule (in the sense of Weberian Herrschaft) and transborder mobility. What effects do forms of mobility both new and old have on the ways in which power translates into institutionalised rule? Which processes operative in the de-institutionalization of rule are associated with the transborder mobility of diverse actors? How in their turn do institutions of rule influence mobility patterns and the immobilisation of rulers and subjects? The research project focuses, first, on mobility in the Global South, particularly in Southern Africa, and second, on intermediary institutions of rule, especially chieftaincy. We argue that, on the one hand, transborder mobility may function as a breeding ground for the rise of intermediary forms of rule, while, on the other hand, mobility represents a permanent challenge to the institutionalisation of power. To achieve a better understanding of the interrelation between transborder mobility and the institutionalisation or de-institutionalisation of intermediary rule, the project examines the institutional dynamics connected with the mobility displayed by chiefs and their subjects, and traces its conditions, trajectories and implications in the institutional field of rule.

Members of subproject 1

Inhetveen Profilbild

Prof Dr Katharina Inhetveen

Deputy Speaker &
Principal Investigator (TP1)


PD Dr Mario Krämer

Principal Investigator (TP1)


Laura Pargen, M.A.

Researcher (TP1)


celia hsü

Celia Hsü

Research Assistant TP1