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Dr. Nathalie Raunet

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Cluster Professorship “Contemporary Politics and Societies in Africa”, Freie Universität Berlin

Postdoctoral Researcher, RU Borders

Ihnestraße 22
14195 Berlin

Nathalie is an interdisciplinary postdoctoral researcher (history, political science, anthropology) in African Studies. After a Master of Science in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, she earned her PhD (University of Birmingham) in African Studies and Anthropology in 2020, in which she focused on the Ghana-Togo border, the boundaries of political communities that do not map onto the nation-state model, and narratives of inclusion and exclusion at the local, regional, transnational and national scales. She is furthering her research in SCRIPTS by looking at the inadequacies of legal systems and grassroots practices of citizenship in the Ghana-Togo borderlands.

Research Interests

  • African politics and history
  • Borderland Studies
  • Citizenship and belonging in Africa
  • Nation-building in Africa


Current Research Projects at Scripts

Nathalie’s research focuses on how grassroots perceptions of belonging operate, and pervade through scales from the local to the national and the international levels. As a consequence, there are competing scripts of political authority granting recognition of belonging (is it the community, the traditional chief, the state?), and competing scripts determining who is a legitimate citizen. While the the law should answer these questions, local understandings of citizenship compete and often prevail. Her research project looks at the inadequacies of the legal systems (national and international) to address the gap between the law and grassroots practices of citizenship in the borderlands.

Raunet Robert-Nicoud, N. (2019) ‘Elections and Borderlands in Ghana’, African Affairs, 118(473): 672-691.

Raunet, N. (2016) ‘Chiefs, Migrants and the State: Mobility in the Ghana-Togo Borderlands’, Working Paper series n° 131 Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, a joint working paper with the International Migration Institute n°128, University of Oxford.