Global Governance Institute


Turbulence, Change and Interruption: Working with Informality in West Africa - Jane Guyer

15 June 2017, 6:30 pm–8:00 pm

Jane Guyer

Event Information

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Darwin Building B40 LT, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

As the informal sector grows in urban West Africa, and as local economic processes show new and creative ways of dealing with a turbulent global political-economy, it is becoming increasingly important that we understand those innovations both in academic and policy terms. It is crucial that practitioners are able to predict, plan and create dependable infrastructures and relationships in order to help support the resilience of economic actors in situations of increasing uncertainty, with the links between academia, policy and practice vital in supporting that ability.

Jane Guyer will address these issues from the perspective of the researcher, drawing on a newspaper archive collected in Nigeria during the 1990s, a study of small businesses' use of the energy supply in Lagos (carried out by Nigerian colleagues, with input from Guyer), and other published sources, to explore research methods useful in identifying and studying the processes that are shaping the employment, incomes and services of the self-employed. Her talk will focus on topics such as money exchange and management and the extension of engagements amongst researchers and with practitioners from both Africa and Europe, and across disciplines.

About the speaker

Jane I. Guyer graduated from the LSE in 1965 (BA Sociology, First class honors), and from the University of Rochester, New York, USA, in 1972 (PhD Social Anthropology). She has undertaken fieldwork in Nigeria and Cameroon, and served on the faculty at Harvard, Boston, Northwestern and Johns Hopkins Universities. Her most-cited work is Marginal Gains. Monetary Transactions in Atlantic Africa, published in 2004. Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012, she is currently serving on one of their committees, after retirement from the full time faculty at Johns Hopkins University in 2015.

The event is open to all but to avoid disappointment please Register.