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The Making of Public Action: Following Up on the Cotonou Conference

  • 1 “Splintered Public Action? Producing and Institutionalising Public Action”, a research project fund (...)

1This issue of Anthropologie & Développement begins the publication of selected communications presented at APAD’s latest conference, which was held in Cotonou (Benin) in November 2015, on the subject of “producing public action”. Organised in partnership with the University of Abomey Calavi’s Laboratoire d’Analyse des Dynamiques de Dévelop-pement (LADYD/FSA), the LASDEL and the IRD, and sponsored by the International Public Policy Association (IPPA), the French National Research Agency’s APPI project1 and Benin’s Ministry of Evaluations, this symposium brought together nearly 120 people around approximately one hundred presentations. The publication process that begins with this issue No 45 will be completed in a forthcoming double issue of Anthropologie & Développement.

2In the name of APAD, I would like to take this opportunity to renew my warmest thanks to our organisation committee, financial partners and the many participants, who all made the 2015 symposium a huge success both scientifically and logistically. The removal of any geographic reference from APAD’s name during the General Assembly held on the sidelines of this 12th conference confirms our determination to open our Association to the entire world. This dynamic also guides the publication of the conference’s papers and the future actions of our « Association for the Anthropology of Social Change and Development ».

A Scientific Writing Workshop

3APAD’s symposiums have always been for coming together and sharing, as well as times to pass resolutions to strengthen the Association’s scientific foundations and its contributions to development actions. Thus, with the agreement of their financial partners, APAD and LADYD were able to hold a scientific writing workshop in Cotonou in September 2016 for African doctoral students and young researchers who presented papers at the conference. The objective was to allow them to strengthen their capacities in writing academic papers and present improved papers as part of the publication process.

4Run with the participation of the members of the Anthropologie & développement and Afrique Contemporaine editorial committees, this workshop covered the different steps in the publication process: how editorial staffs operate, the selection and revision process, and manuscript evaluation criteria. In-depth group work on manuscripts allowed all the participants to see the qualities and weaknesses in their texts and receive valuable advice to improve them. The workshop allowed participants to concretely identify the “tricks of the trade” behind high-quality articles. The general consensus was that this is something to repeat!

5Supporting and training young researchers are among APAD’s flagship activities, along with the workshops given by its members in their own institutions. We hope to count on our financial partners’ support to be able to invite more people to participate in future sessions. For this first workshop, the available budget only allowed us to invite a few participants from neighbouring countries.

On Route to the 2018 Conference

6Continuing the logic of alternating between Africa and Europe, APAD’s next international Conference will be held at the University of Roskilde, in Denmark, in May 2018, on the topic of the “migrations, development, citizenship” nexus. Organised in partnership with the Universities of Roskilde and Copenhagen, this symposium will be an opportunity to report on recent research on intra-national, regional and international migration. In particular, we would like to examine how migrants are integrated, to different degrees, into the various local or national political spaces where they live, obtain or demand certain rights, and how they manage these different senses of belonging and identities, contributing to plural citizenships. We also wish to examine how public policies, international policies and aid policies that in recent years have taken up the issues of security and migration are seeking to influence these mobilities and the forms of access to the rights—granted or refused—to migrants.

7This bilingual (French/English) symposium will be a way to strengthen ties with English-speaking scientific communities. It will be organised in the form of a call for panels. The call for panels will be issued in March 2017. We hope that this topic will be of interest to many APAD members!

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1 “Splintered Public Action? Producing and Institutionalising Public Action”, a research project funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR):

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Référence papier

Ludovic Kibora, « Editorial »Anthropologie & développement, 45 | 2017, 8-10.

Référence électronique

Ludovic Kibora, « Editorial »Anthropologie & développement [En ligne], 45 | 2017, mis en ligne le 01 octobre 2017, consulté le 17 avril 2024. URL : ; DOI :

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Ludovic Kibora

Senior Researcher in Anthropology,Director of the Institut des sciences des sociétés (INSS/CNRST),Vice-President of APAD
E-mail :

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