Paper Series

The Paper Series aims to disseminate research findings prior to publication in order to share ideas, promote academic debate, and receive feedback on work in progress.

The Occasional Paper Series makes outstanding research by our students accessible.

Development Geography Occasional Paper 2021

Re-greening the planet by planting trees and restoring forests follows the global trend of increasing environmental awareness. Various concepts have been developed to stop de-forestation and degradation as well as revive forests and forested lands. As such, Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) is a state-of-the-art approach for ecosystem restoration while simultaneously improving people’s livelihood. In this context, Ethiopia, a country particu-larly affected by the implications of climate change, shows a high commitment to various reforestation initiatives to restore its forests and forest lands. However, sustainable FLR implementation faces tremendous challenges, as the success does not solely depend on technical or ecological aspects: supportive governance architectures seem to be even more critical for successful restoration. Based on this, actors, institutions, and policies shape the governance arrangements and influence FLR outcomes in various ways. The entanglement between the three governance dimensions is expressed by conflicting interests as well as diverging power resources. Especially problems, such as overlapping responsibilities, insti-tutional capacity, land tenure and power asymmetries may endanger the success of resto-ration. By means of a case study of Ethiopia, the thesis examines the research question on how far governance influences FLR outcomes. Various facets of forest restoration are un-covered, including their reciprocal political relation, particularly noticeable on one specific scale: the landscape.

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Development Geography Occasional Paper 2020

Although crucially responding to humanitarian needs in complex crises, the international humanitarian system (IHS) faces severe criticism that it perpetuates the same inequalities it is trying to alleviate. Informed by decolonial theories and practices, this research aims to investigate the impacts that coloniality as the endurance of a colonial system of power, knowledge and being has on the IHS and its problematic outcomes. This research utilized a case study design of humanitarian assistance in Jordan and employed semi-structured expert interviews. Results show that local employees, volunteers, and local NGOs face disproportionate difficulties in the competitive environment of the IHS which hinders the outcomes of humanitarian assistance. At the base of these inequalities lies a division of humanitarians into locals, volunteers, and internationals that hierarchizes these actors and their knowledges along the line of coloniality. This divide privileges mostly White/Western internationals as well as local elites in terms of access to decision-making, employment and tangible assets. Although localization is currently treated as a means to enhance the IHS and its outcomes, the case study illustrates that an uncritical view on localization that ignores the diverse understandings of and intentions behind localization, entails the danger to perpetuate these inequalities. However, it also suggests that localization as aspirations towards decoloniality has potentials to improve humanitarian assistance and to reduce inequalities and power asymmetries within the IHS. This, however, requires to fundamentally challenge the hegemonic nature of the IHS and its understanding of humanitarianism and instead move towards a pluriverse of humanitarian actors and knowledges.

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In her master thesis, Melanie Deter explored different life situations of elderly people in rural Tanzania. The thesis carves out how the process of ageing impacts these elderlies’ lives, highlights the heterogeneity within Eastern Africa’s older populations and thereby calibrates the "dominant narrative of Africa’s older people as homogeneously disadvantaged” (ABODERIN 2017: 644). Importantly, the starting point of this thesis is not the interest in the elderlies’ old age security alone but it overcomes this vulnerability-oriented perspective: it is interested in what actually matters to the elderlies not only for their livelihood security but for their individual wellbeing.
By taking a relational perspective, this thesis investigates the disparities amongst the elderly people: it views their lives with regard to their life courses, in relation to intergenerational aspects as well as in interconnections with social markers, particularly class and gender.

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Development Geography Occasional Paper 2017

Masterstudenten des Seminars "Politik internationaler Klimaverhandlungen" vom Geographischen Institut der Universität Bonn nahmen im Dezember 2015 an der COP 21 in Paris als Beobachter teil. Angelehnt an die Debatte zur De-Politisierung der internationalen Klimapolitik gingen die Studenten Fragestellungen bezüglich der Negation der Pluralität des Klimawandels, dem Re-Politisierungspotenzial zivilgesellschaftlicher Proteste sowie der Problematisierung der Klimawandels durch LDC-Repräsentanen nach. Diese Fragestellungen werden in den Artikeln dieses Themen-Occasional Paper behandelt.

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As part of their thesis Lena Rott and Roxana Gabriel analysed the urban refugee accomondation in the city of Remscheid. Thereby they made use of a socio-geographic perspective.

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Development Geography Occasional Paper 2016

As part of her Master thesis Saskia Antonia von Werder analyzes REDD+, a market-based climate mitigation instrument designed by the UNFCCC to reduce and prevent carbon dioxide emissions from tropical regions. The analysis presented hereafter aims at both understanding the preconditions for REDD+ to be implemented globally, and the examining the impacts of REDD+ on peoples' everyday lives in rural Indonesia. This thesis presents a novel approach to analyze REDD+ by using Henri Lefebvre's theory on "the production of space" as theoretical background.

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As part of her bachelor thesis Florence Nick examined the dimension of post-political structures in the current international climate politic. Thereby she analyzed the work of the NGO Climate Action Network International (CAN), a parent organization of more than 950 NGO, and made use of the Grounded Theory approach.

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As part of her bachelor thesis Mara Mürlebach applies Erik Swyngedouw's argument of the postpolitical condition to the case of Fairtrade. She argues that Fairtrade not only depoliticizes the strive for change in global trading practices, but also represents Southern producers of Fairtrade goods as powerless figures waiting for the white savior.

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Form the 30th of July to the 7th of August 2015 the participants of an excursion to Kenya of the Geographical Institute of the University of Bonn conducted a field school in Naivasha. Focus groups worked on topics like waste management, tourism, consumption, water management or fishery and organized their own empirical study with the support of research assistants from the University of Nairobi for five days under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Detlef Müller-Mahn, Dr. Samuel Owuor and Andreas Gemählich.

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Development Geography Occasional Paper 2015

As part of her master thesis Katharina Jung raised the question to the degree the volunteers programme Don Bosco Volunteers changes existing patterns of perception and action of the participating volunteers as well as their cultural affiliation and how these experiences can be transferred to the respective social environment.

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Helena Inkermann's case study was conducted to investigate the rapid socio-economic and environmental transformation process, its impacts on Afar women living in Baadu, and the options and constraints of social practices of Afar women deriving from the transformation process.

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Hannes Lauer, who graduated from the Department of Geography, follows in his paper the ongoing process of mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into development strategies in The Gambia.

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Development Geography Occasional Paper 2014

Supervised by Benjamin Etzold, a collective of undergraduate students engages with the transnational lives of migrants.

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Luise Meyer, who graduated from the Department of Geography, interrogates in her paper the contested making of urban spaces in Rio de Janeiro in the context of mega-events and urban revitalisation strategies.

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Prof. Dr. Detlef Müller-Mahn

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Valerie McCool

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