Personal profile


Main research
Research project title: Political Culture and Municipal Governance, a comparative study in West Africa (Benin, Mali, Niger)

This is a research of comparative politics on local governance, democratisation and political cultures in the context of decentralisation programmes promoted by donors in West Africa. The aim of the research is to document and understand better what happens in local politics after recent local elections have been held in Benin (2003), Niger (2004) and Mali (1999). The research will examine empirically and comparatively political dynamics and institutionalisation processes of municipalities that open gates to the creation of new public spaces, new political cultures and patterns of governance. Therefore the project will focus on local level politics in six municipalities (two in each country). What are the rules of the political game in elections and daily municipal governance, how will new institutions now operate and how will municipalities finance the public service they are supposed to provide? The theoretical challenge is to reconsider governance and political culture theories more meaningfully. The methodology drawn from history, political sciences, anthropology and qualitative sociology will combine literature review, archival research, qualitative interviews, observations and case studies. The research, attached to the Department of Society and Globalisation at RUC, will be part of the research group on "Governance, State Formation and Local Politics" as well as "Joint Activities for the Enhancement of Social Research on Governance in West Africa" programme (DSG/RUC-LASDEL).

Other research areas: 
Service provision and Local State in West Africa, 
- Decentralisation, 
Health services

Teaching and supervision: 
AtRUC - SIB: introduction to microeconomics and macroeconomics, 
          - IDS/IU: K1 Politics of Culture. 
          - IDS/Global studies

At CBS (Denmark) - French studies: Managing and organizing in regional context. Management and Business in Francophone West Africa  

At EHESS (France) - Séminaires 'Anthropologie du développement' et 'Anthropologie des administrations publiques'

At LASDEL (Niger and Benin) - Méthodologie de terrain
                                        - Atelier d'écriture
                                        - Anthropologie de la santé
                                        - Anthropologie de la décentralisation
                                        - Etat local, anthropologie des réformes de l'Etat

Curriculum Vitae


 HAHONOU, Eric Komlavi



Year of Birth:



Current position:

Associate Professor in International Development Studies

Research member of LASDEL - Laboratory for the Study and Research on Social Dynamics and Local Development (Niger and Benin).


Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Marseille, France), PhD. in social anthropology and ethnology, March 2006.
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Master in social sciences (History, Anthropology, Sociology), September 2000.
Université Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, Master in Environmental Economy, September 1990.

Denmark, University of Roskilde, August 2007 - present
Main research areas: Municipal governance and political cultures in West Africa (Benin, Mali, Niger); Democracy, Citizenship and Slavery
Benin, LASDEL, September 2006 - July 2007
Coordinator of an action-oriented research programme on Local State, Daily governance and Reforms of Public Service in 4 West African Countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger), financed by the DDC (Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation).
- Statal reforms from the top and below in the fields of alphabetisation and primary education in Benin
- Collective inquiry on Daily functioning and reforms of Public Health services in Sikasso Mali, june 2007
Benin, 2005-2006: Mid and short-term consultancies for CIDR (5 months: nov. 05 - march 06) and Afric Performances (1 month: june 06)
Identification of 3 development projects in the field of decentralisation, reinforcement of associative movements and local governance in Southern (département du Plateau) and Northern Benin (départements de l'Alibori et du Borgou). In charge of field enquiries, institutional contacts, analysis and final report. Team leader / clients: Conseil Régional de Picardie, Swiss Cooperation.
Denmark, 2004-2005 : Short-term consultancies for Cowi A/S (1 month: oct. 04) and GRET (1 month: july 05)
Team leader of external evaluations of development projects in the fields of decentralisation and governance in rural Niger and urban areas of Madagascar.
Responsible for enquiries, debriefing, reporting, recommendations priorities and approaches for development assistance / clients: Care International Denmark and CIDR.
Niger, 2001-2004: LASDEL 
Research member. Participation in different research programmes related on: 
- "Observatory of decentralisation process in Niger", Pr. Olivier de Sardan (dir.): Political parties, development projects and local powers facing decentralisation process. Responsible for collective and individual enquiries in Tillaberi, Balleyara, Gorouol, Bankilaré (Western Niger) and In Gall (Northern Niger), reporting and publications / funding: French Cooperation, German Cooperation, Swiss Cooperation, European Union.
Participation in collective enquiries on local powers and decentralisation in Abalak (Northern Niger) and N'Gourti (Eastern Niger).
- "Popular conceptions about sanitation and representations of public service provision in small towns (municipalities of Tillaberi and Dogondoutchi, Western Niger)" in collaboration with Dr. Blundo G. and Pr. Olivier de Sardan J.-P.: individual enquiries in Tillaberi, reporting and publication / funding: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs ;
- Redactor of LASDEL's political and juridical bulletin on decentralisation process in Niger / funding: FICOD/KFW;
- Organisational audit of pre decentralisation organizations in the cantons of Tondikandia and Tagazar (Western Niger) - Local development and food security development project; Co-responsible for collective and individual enquiries, reporting and publications (in collaboration with Souley Aboubacar)/client: French Agency for Development (AFD);
- Research programme "Corruption and public services in West Africa" - Blundo and Olivier de Sardan (dir.): participation in collective enquiries in the fields of justice, police, customs in Niamey and Birni Konni (Central Niger) / funding: European Union and Swiss Cooperation Agency.
Niger, 1999-2000 : short-term consultancies, independant (1 month) and GRAD (1,5 months).
Consultant on a food security project (client: PAF Riz - UE) that promote rice production: Team leader, responsible for a qualitative study of salient factors for the consumption of local rice in Western Niger.
Identification and formulation of a poverty alleviation project proposal in Niamey and Maradi in a pre decentralisation context (client: SCAC - AFD). 
Madagascar, September 1995 - 1998: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
National Programme Coordinator in charge of an urban local development programme (PAIQ). The program, financed by French Cooperation and national funds, was oriented toward the building of new relationships between civil society organisations in poor urban areas and newly elected local governments at municipal level in the national capital as well as in the 5 regional capitals. This was to be achieved through technical assistance (35 employees) and financial supports to local initiatives sustained by international and national NGOs. 
In charge of operational teams, capacity building of NGOs and associations. Responsible for coordination with national authorities (attached to the office director of the Prime Minister) and follow-up of funds with the Ministry of Finance.
Madagascar, October 1994 - September 1995: AFVP (French volunteers organisation)
Socio-economist, in charge of the technical rehabilitation of 5 schools (post-cyclonic context) and the identification of an urban social development project in Antananarivo (client: Conseil Régional d'Ile-de-France).
Niger, November 1991-1993: AFVP
Coordinator (volunteer contract) of a local development project in rural and urban areas of Tillabéri department promoting health and sanitation education, incomes generating activities, sustainable agriculture and rehabilitation of eroded soils, rehabilitation of public infrastructures, as well as identifying water supply development project in Tillabéri department (client: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Municipality of Juvisy, France). 
France, October 1990 - May 1991: Agence de Bassin Seine-Normandie
Research department, responsible for a preliminary study on the economic valorisation of environmental impacts, based on the modelisation of various scenarii of dam projects on the river valleys surrounding Paris.

III Other informations


  • The master thesis at the University of Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne was dealing with the valorisation of natural water for industrial purposes (Environmental economics).

  • The master thesis at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Marseille) addressed interactions between civil servants and users at the emergency service of the National Hospital of Niamey.

  • Guest PhD. student at the University of Roskilde (Denmark) between March 2004 and June 2005, where I was finalizing the redaction of my PhD thesis. 

  • Animation of seminar on local politics at EHESS Marseille (March 2006, March 2009) as well as periodic seminars at LASDEL in Niamey and Parakou.

  • Languages: French (mother tongue), English, Danish, Malagasy (language of Madagascar), Djerma-Songhay-Dendi (common vernacular language of Niger-Mali-Benin).

  • Member of APAD (Euro-African Association for the Anthropology of Social Change and Development) since 2001.


As mentioned in my cv, I am member of LASDEL since 2001
Presentation of LASDEL
LASDEL (Laboratory for the Study and Research on Social Dynamics and Local Development) is an independent social science laboratory existing in Niamey (Niger) since 2001 and in Parakou (Benin) since 2005. LASDEL has been created in partnership with the "Conseil National de la Recherche Scientifique" (CNRS, France), the University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC, Benin), the University Abdou Moumouni (UAM, Niger), the French Institute for Research and Development (IRD, France), the "Institut Universitaire des Etudes de Développement" (IUED, Switzerland), the "Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales" (EHESS, France), the University of Parakou (Benin). LASDEL has an international scientific council that evaluates its results every three years. 
The creation of this laboratory is an attempt to answer to the crisis of social sciences in Africa (low quality of teaching in universities, very little research, bad working conditions, etc.) as well as the existing gap between the production of knowledge on African development and development agencies' practices. LASDEL's main objectives are to produce knowledge on topics of scientific and social interest as well as to train young African researchers (capacity building).
The laboratory is composed of 30 research members: political scientists, jurists, historians, sociologists and anthropologists. LASDEL is recruiting most of its members in PhD. students often registered in European universities (EHESS Marseille, University of Mainz, IUED of Geneva) and West African universities (Niamey, Abomey Calavi). 
A solid supervision is provided by Pr. Olivier de Sardan (EHESS, CNRS, IRD), Dr. Hab. Mahaman Tidjani Alou (University Abdou Moumouni of Niamey), Dr. Amadou Oumarou (University of Niamey, Scientific director of LASDEL Niger), Dr. Aboubakari Imorou  (University Abomey - Calavi in Benin, team leader in LASDEL Parakou). LASDEL's students also received supervision from senior researchers in Europe (Dr. Y. Jaffré and Dr. G. Blundo from EHESS Marseille, Pr. Thomas Bierschenk from University of Mainz, etc.). LASDEL organizes intensive training sessions in collaboration with other institutions targeting advanced students and researchers (two training sessions for students at the University of Niamey and at the University of Abomey-Calavi, in 2002 and 2003, two summer schools for PhD candidates in Niamey in November 2004 and October 2006 as well as regular doctoral seminars). LASDEL also welcomes and supports doctorate candidates and researchers from the North working on similar or connected themes. 

LASDEL has been developing comparative and empirically grounded research programmes in various fields for several years in West Africa: functioning of health systems, local politics and decentralisation, municipal governance, democratisation, identity processes, the traditional chieftaincy, development mechanisms, health and sanitation, water management, corruption, the state at local level, etc. These research programmes are funded by donor agencies at the local level and by responding to international calls. Consequently, the Laboratory has a solid experience in these particular fields and has become a hospitable research centre appreciated by students and senior researchers. 

In a ‘milieu' where team research is still uncommon, LASDEL has developed an original way of working in teams: research programmes often involve several LASDEL researchers and students starting with collective enquiries that give a common methodology and fieldwork orientations, and offers a solid basis for comparative research. LASDEL is building and strengthening partnerships with research institutions from the North (University of Roskilde in Denmark, University of Louvain La Neuve in Belgium, Universities of Bayreuth, Mainz, Köln in Germany, etc.) and the South (Laboratoire Citoyennetés in Burkina Faso, Institut des Sciences Humaines (ISH) in Mali, etc.).
LASDEL is working as interface between research and development. The results of research programmes and studies are systematically followed by local restitutions toward stakeholders, development practitioners and aid agencies. Moreover, LASDEL's monthly scientific seminars organised in Parakou and Niamey are other opportunities to built bridges between research and development. Since its creation, LASDEL has produced and edited a Bulletin of Studies and Working Papers called "Etudes et Travaux du Lasdel" (40 issues published in January 2007, 10 issues in preparation) which aims to disseminate results locally as well as to give opportunity for young researchers to start the process of publications. LASDEL also pursues an active policy of international publication, in books or peer-reviewed scientific journals.

More recently, LASDEL has engaged in experimental action oriented research programmes on the reform of the African state, on its "de facto" functioning, on public or collective policies, on the range of institutions in charge of public or collective functions, as well as their interactions with users.
LASDEL's link:


River nomads (


  • Gender studies, Ethnicity, Equal rights
  • Ethnic minorities and gender
  • slavery
  • Citizenship
  • post-slavery societies
  • Health, Medicine
  • health centers in Africa
  • practical norms
  • corruption
  • Cultural encounters, Multi-culturalism
  • cultural movements
  • identity politics
  • west africa

Publication network

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or