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Finding the African Voice

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Riccardo Ciavolella

In 2008, Riccardo Ciavolella obtained a PhD in Anthropology of the contemporary at the University of Milan Bicocca and a PhD in Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris with Félicitations du jury à l'unanimité. These Phds complete a previous academic career focusing on politics, history and development, especially on african issues ("Laurea" - Master - in International and Diplomatic Sciences at the University of Bologna, with a dissertation in African History - 2003; diploma in War journalism at the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona - 2002; certificate degree in Political Studies at the IEP in Lyon - 2001).

For his PhD research, he carried out a 12 months fieldwork in Mauritania to study the political relationships between a Fulani group (Fulaabe) and the state. This research has been published in the PhD dissertation "Le Pouvoir aux Marges. Les FulaaBe et l'État mauritanien".

In Mauritania, he also collaborated as an associated researcher for international development organisations (GRDR). His consultancy activities continue with a new collaboration with the FORIM, the platform gathering all the Associations of Migrants and Co-development operating in France.

Since 2005, he participates to the Ethnological Mission in Benin and West Africa of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has been a member of the PRIN project 2004-2006 « From dependency to citizenship" (coordinated by PierGiorgio Solinas). Recently, he has joined the international research project AMMA, for which he carries out a research in Mali on pastoral communities vulnerability and political responsability facing ecological and political instability.

His research interests range over Political anthropology and Social history in West Africa, with particular attention to political and social logics of inclusion/exclusion, forms of dependence and relationships between the urban and the rural world.