From international policy to Congolese every-day public practices. A study on the struggle to formalize and de-militarize Katanga’s mineral trade.

This research project revolves around recent transnational attempts to bring about responsible mineral sourcing from eastern Congo. Viewing policy interventions as a social process of interaction rather than a unilateral action of decision-makers, it aims to answer the question: ‘What happens when transnational initiatives become implemented in a fragile state as the DRC?’.

Based on 18 months of political ethnographic fieldwork in both Congo’s capital Kinshasa and its southern province Katanga, the project examines how these initiatives are translated into every-day public practices and discursive action. The role of Congolese higher state officials and civil servants in bridging or widening the gap between international policy-makers objectives and national / provincial conditions within the mineral trade will be central to the policy process analysis.

Supervisors: Dorothea Hilhorst, Koen Vlassenroot, Jeroen Cuvelier