Uncertain blessings: Imagining a future petro-state in Uganda

2016-08 | working paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Witte, A. (2016-08). Uncertain blessings: ​Imagining a future petro-state in Uganda​​(GISCA Occasional Paper​ No. 7). ​​Göttingen: ​Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. doi: https://doi.org/10.3249/2363-894X-gisca-7 

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Authors
Witte, Annika
Abstract
In this paper, I argue that even though oil production in Uganda has not yet started, the oil is already relevant in its anticipation. In its “not-yet” state, the oil has gained a discursive presence in politics, media and civil society. I analyse the visions of the future that are created in this oil talk. The government paints a picture of a bright future, in which oil is a blessing to all, while civil society portrays oil as a shadow looming over Uganda. Despite this difference, I show that all the visions refer to the resource curse: Oil can either be a blessing or a curse. I understand the resource curse discourse as a form of risk communication. I propose that for people in the oil regions knowledge of the resource curse as a risk increases existing feelings of uncertainty with regard to the oil. The paper is based on 15 months of fieldwork in Uganda between 2012 and 2015.
Issue Date
August-2016
Publisher
Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Organization
Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät ; Institut für Ethnologie 
Series
GISCA Occasional Paper 
Extent
18
Language
English

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