Andrea Behrends

Andrea BehrendsNetwork Member

Andrea Behrends received her PhD in Social Anthropology at the Free University of Berlin in 2000. Her academic career focused on long-term research projects, first during six years at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale where she was employed as senior staff in the department on Conflict and Integration. From there she became affiliated to the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology of Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, where she conducted two long-term research projects funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and by the German ResearchFoundation. She held replacement professorships at the University of Hamburg, at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg and at the University of Vienna. Andrea has taught at a number of German and international universities and co-supervised PhD students from several African and European countries. She is member of several editorial and advisory boards, and is sought after as reviewer for publications, applications for research grants or larger research networks. She has presented her work on social technologies in relation to African oil production, displacement, war and aid as well as on the African middle classes at numerous international conferences or as invited speaker. She has been a long-term member of the LOST research network.

Current position
University affiliation
University of Bayreuth


Andrea has started her anthropological work with research on female elite trajectories in Northern Ghana and Burkina Faso, looking at how first generation Western educated women translated their home areas ethics to their urban professional life and vice versa. From 2000 onwards, she studied protracted conflict situations in the Chad-Sudan borderlands with a focus on the interfaces between displacement, international aid, and national governance. Here she asks how survival and future making is connected to historically contingent knowledge production, which involves the creation and crossing of categorical boundaries. Her main argument is that actors with very different backgrounds interact by both creating their own (b)orders and adapting to each others notions of ordering and boundary making. Currently she is principle investigator of a cooperative research project on the social repercussions of crude oil production and refining in Chad and Niger. She has made the idea of equal collaboration with international partners her prime concern. Andrea is a founding member of the Chadian Anthropological and Human Sciences Research Center (CRASH).


  • Behrends, Andrea (2021) "Die Verwandlung von sudanesischen Geflüchteten in tschadische Flüchtlingsbürger:innen: Eine bürokratische Statuspassage." in Humandifferenzierung: Disziplinäre Perspektiven und empirische Sondierungen , edited by Dilek Dizdar, Stefan Hirschauer, Johannes Paulmann, Gabriele Schabacher, 106-132. Weilerswist: Velbrück Wissenschaft.
  • Behrends, Andrea (2020) "Renegotiating humanitarian governance: Challenging invisibility in the Chad-Sudan borderlands." in Invisibility in African displacements: From structural marginalization to strategies of avoidance , edited by Jesper Bjarnesen and Simon Turner, 19-35. London, New York: Zed Books.
  • Behrends, Andrea (2018) "On categorizing: The ‘doing’ and ‘undoing’ of refugees in the Chad-Sudan borderlands." in Vienna Working Papers in Ethnography No. 6. Vienna: University of Vienna.
  • Schritt, Jannik, and Andrea Behrends (2018) "‘Western’ and ‘Chinese’ Oil Zones: Petro-infrastructures and the emergence of new trans-territorial spaces of order in Niger and Chad." in Spatial Practices: Territory, Border and Infrastructure in Africa , edited by Ulf Engel, Detlef Müller-Mahn and Marc Böckler, 211-229. Leiden: Brill.
  • Behrends, Andrea and Remadji Hoinathy (2017) "The Devil’s Money: A multi-level approach to acceleration and turbulence in oil-producing southern Chad." in Social Analysis 61 (3): 56-72.
  • Behrends, Andrea, Sung-Joon Park, and Richard Rottenburg (2016) "Replik auf Röhl." in Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie 35 (2): 313-317.
  • Behrends, Andrea (2016) "Kein Segen, nirgends." in forschung: Das Magazin der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft 1/2016: 18-23. →
  • Behrends, Andrea (2016) "No boon at all." in German research: Magazine of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft 3/2016: 16-20.
  • Behrends, Andrea (2015) "The long history of conflict, integration and changing alliances on the Darfur." in Emerging orders in the Sudans , edited by Sandra Calkins, Enrico Ille and Richard Rottenburg, 39-68. Bamenda and Buea: Langaa.
  • Behrends, Andrea, Sung-Joon Park, and Richard Rottenburg (eds.) (2014) "Travelling models in African conflict management: Translating technologies of social ordering." Leiden: Brill.
  • Behrends, Andrea (2014) "Securing livelihoods: Economic practice in the Darfur-Chad borderlands." in Displacement economies in Africa: Paradoxes of crisis and creativity , edited by Amanda Hammar, 35-56. London: Zen Books.
  • Behrends, Andrea (2014) "Gemeinsam forschen: Die Ethnologie als 'Travelling Model' der Forschungspraxis und Theoriebildung." presented at The Future of German Anthropology, University of Leipzig.
  • Behrends, Andrea, and Remadji Hoinathy (2014) "Does rationality travel? Translating a World Bank model for fair oil-revenue distribution in Chad." in Travelling models in African conflict management: Translating technologies of social ordering , edited by Andrea Behrends, Sung-Joon Park and Richard Rottenburg, 76-91. Leiden: Brill.
  • Behrends, Andrea, Sung-Joon Park, and Richard Rottenburg (2014) "Travelling models: Introducing an analytical concept to globalisation studies." in Travelling models in African conflict management: Translating technologies of social ordering , edited by Andrea Behrends, Sung-Joon Park and Richard Rottenburg, 1-42. Leiden: Brill.
  • Behrends, Andrea, and Julia Pauli (2012) "Zwischen Charisma und Korruption: Kontinuitäten und Brüche in der Auseinandersetzung mit Eliten in Afrika." in 50 Jahre Unabhängigkeit in Afrika: Kontinuitäten, Brüche, Perspektiven , edited by Thomas Bierschenk and Eva Spies, 301-320. Köln: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag.
  • Eckert, Julia, Andrea Behrends, and Andreas Dafinger. (2012) "Governance - and the State: An Anthropological Approach." in Ethnoscripts 14 (1): 14-34.