Professor Johan P J Pottier
BA DPHIL (Sussex)
BiographyNow enjoying retirement, I keenly continue my interests in the social dynamics of food security, including urban security; media representations of conflict; and the politics of humanitarian intervention. In recent years I have also researched the emergence of a commercial Bangladeshi cuisine in East London. Key publications include Anthropology of Food: The Social Dynamics of Food Security (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1999); Re-Imagining Rwanda: Conflict, Survival and Disinformation in the late 20th Century (Cambridge University Press, 2002); and the co-edited Researching Violence in Africa: Ethical and Methodological Challenges (Brill, 2011). I am expanding my interest in urban food security, based on fieldwork in low-income settlements in Lilongwe (2011) and Kampala (2012), beyond African borders.
PhD Students supervised
- Anne-Line Rodriguez, The closure of European borders and mobility in Senegal
- Jessica M Chu, The cultural economy of 'land grabs' in Zambia (working title).
- Seamus Murphy, CONTESTED MEANINGS THROUGH SOCIAL CHANGE; An Ethnography of Institutions, Organisations, Ideologies and Power in the Market Development of the Lake Chilwa Commons, Southern Malawi.
Over the years, my research has focused on the social dynamics of food and livelihood security; humanitarian intervention during conflict, including media representations of conflict and intervention; and post-conflict development. Much of this research has been undertaken in Central Africa, the Great Lakes Region (Rwanda, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo) in particular. I have published on local-level perceptions of food security; anthropology and food policy; post-drought and post-famine recovery; international press coverage of the crisis in Rwanda; refugee perceptions of humanitarian aid; and aspects of the local-global development interface.
My current research deals with the crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), notably the Ituri region. Recent research in Bunia, capital of Ituri, has focused on how humanitarian organisations attempt to negotiate access in the course of a complex emergency. I also have an interest in social development analysis and experience with running participatory workshops. This interest grew out of a collaborative research programme on social development and food security, carried out in the mid-1990s with academic colleagues and development practitioners in Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Botswana. This collaboration consolidated my interest in the Anthropology of Food and led me to write a book on the subject detailing ethnographic contributions to the study of food and food policy.
Closely related to this is my interest in the role of ‘local knowledge’ in development and in the mechanisms through which local knowledge is generated for development intervention. I co-convened the ASA 2000 conference entitled Indigenous Knowledge and Development.
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- Special Study Programmes
- Short Term Consultancy
- Long Term Consultancy
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
Pottier, Johan (2002) Re-Imagining Rwanda. Conflict, Survival and Disinformation in the Late Twentieth Century. Cambridge University Press.
Pottier, Johan (1999) Anthropology of Food: The Social Dynamics of Food Security. Polity Press.
Klein, Jakob A. and Pottier, Johan and West, Harry G. (2012) 'New Directions in the Anthropology of Food.' In: Fardon, Richard and Harris, Olivia and Marchand, Trevor H. J. and Nuttall, Mark and Shore, Cris and Strang, Veronica and Wilson, Richard A., (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Social Anthropology. London: SAGE Publications Ltd, pp. 293-302.
Pottier, Johan (2004) 'Escape from Genocide: The politics of identity in Rwanda's 1994 massacres.' In: Broch-Due, Vigdis, (ed.), Violence and Belonging: The Quest for Identity in Post-colonial Africa. London: Routledge, pp. 195-205.
Pottier, Johan (2003) 'Negotiating Local Knowledge: An Introduction.' In: Pottier, J. and Sillitoe, P. and Bicker, A., (eds.), Negotiating Local Knowledge: Identity and Power in Development. London: Pluto, pp. 1-29. (Anthropology, culture, and society)
Pottier, Johan (2003) 'Modern Information Warfare Versus Empirical Knowledge: Framing 'the Crisis' in Eastern Zaire, 1996.' In: Pottier, J. and Bicker, A. and Sillitoe, P., (eds.), Negotiating Local Knowledge. Power and Identity in Development. London: Pluto Press, pp. 215-240.
Pottier, Johan (2000) 'Gerra dell informazione e violenza nella regione dei grandi laghi.' In: Buttino, M. and Ercolessi, M. C. and Triulzi, A., (eds.), Uomini in Armi: Costruzioni etniche e violenza politica. Napoli: L'ancora del Mediterraneo, pp. 157-187.
Pottier, Johan (1998) 'The Self in Self-Repatriation: Closing down Mugunga Camp Eastern Zaire.' In: Black, R. and Koser, K., (eds.), The End of the Refugee Cycle? Refugee Repatriation and Reconstruction. Oxford: Berghahn Books, pp. 142-170.
Pottier, Johan (2008) 'Displacement and ethnic reintegration in Ituri, DR Congo: challenges ahread.' Journal of Modern African Studies, 46 (3). pp. 1-24.
Pottier, Johan (2008) 'Discorso globale e contesti locali. Quale futuro per il programma di riforma agraria in Ruanda? [Global Discourse, Local Contexts: Which way for Rwanda’s land reform programme?].' Antropologia (Special volume on Violence), 8 (9-10). pp. 137-155.
Pottier, Johan (2007) 'Rights Violations, Rumour, and Rhetoric: Making Sense of Cannibalism in Mambasa, Ituri (Democratic Republic of Congo).' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 13 (4). pp. 825-843.
Pottier, Johan (2006) 'Land Reform for Peace? Rwanda's 2005 Land Law in Context.' Journal of Agrarian Change, 6 (4). pp. 509-537.
Pottier, Johan (2006) 'Roadblock Ethnography: Negotiating Humanitarian Access in Ituri, Eastern DR Congo, 1999-2004.' Africa The Journal of the International African Institute, 76 (2). pp. 151-79.