Back to top

Dolores Koenig Prof Emerita Department of Anthropology

PhD, Anthropology, Northwestern University<br>AB, Civilizational Studies, University of Chicago

Languages Spoken
Dolores Koenig is a specialist in international development, interested in both its challenges and its successes. She is especially interested in finding new ways of talking about development and social change that value the experiences of local people while still taking into account the international context of global inequalities. She works primarily on issues of development-caused forced displacement and resettlement, both urban and rural, in French-speaking West Africa. She worked on relocation in conjunction with dam construction in Western Mali and now is looking at development-caused urban displacement in West Africa and Asia.
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Dolores Koenig’s research concerns development-caused forced displacement and resettlement in both rural and urban areas, with a focus on new infrastructure projects in West Africa and Asia. The project looks at the impacts of displacement upon the livelihoods and social milieux of those forced and move and how formal resettlement projects might serve to improve opportunities for the poor. Of special interest are the role of activists and non-governmental organizations and the importance of economic reconstruction.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • 2008 American University Presidential Fellowship for “Toward a Better Understanding of Development-Caused Forced Displacement and Resettlement in Urban Areas.”
  • 2000 Robert McC. Netting Prize in Political Ecology, with Tiéman Diarra, for "The Environmental Effects of Policy Change in the West African Savanna: Resettlement, Structural Adjustment and Conservation in Western Mali." March.

Professional Services

  • 7/11 and 2/09 Resettlement Specialist, Alatona Irrigation Project, Mali. Funded by US Millennium Challenge Account.
  • 7/05 and 1/06 Facilitator, Strategic Impact Evaluation on MMD Projects, CARE Niger, Niamey.
  • 10/00-8/01 Desk study on impoverishment and involuntary resettlement, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, funded by UK Department for International Development.
  • 5,6/94  End-of-Project Evaluation, Manantali Resettlement Project. Funded by USAID/Bamako.
  • 6,7/93  Gender Analysis Advisor, Guinea Natural Resources Management Project.  Funded by USAID through Chemonics.
  • 3/89-8/90, Team Leader, Mali, Land Settlement in the Onchocerciasis Zone.  Funded by the World Bank through the Institute for Development Anthropology.

Selected Publications

  • 2013 “Commentary” on “Involuntary Resettlement in Infrastructure Projects: A Development Perspective,” by Robert Picciotto. In Infrastructure and Land Policies. G. Ingram and K. Brandt, eds. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Pp 264-265.
  • 2012 “Development and Economic Anthropology: The Contributions of Economic Anthropology to International Development Practice.” Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). UNESCO-EOLSS Joint Committee.
  • 2011 “Multiple Actors and Contested Terrains: Strategies of Pro-poor Action in Contemporary Urban Restructuring.” Journal of Developing Societies. Special Issue: Global Cities of the South/Urban Subjects. 27(3-4): 327-353.
  • 2009 “Development Studies in the Mande Region: The Last 20 Years.” Mande Studies 11:113-143.
  • 2009 “Urban Relocation and Resettlement: Distinctive Problems, Distinctive Opportunities.”Development and Dispossession: The Anthropology of Displacement and Resettlement. Anthony Oliver-Smith, ed. Santa Fe: School of American Research. Pp. 119-139.
  • 2008 Rural Development is More than Commodity Production: Cotton in the Farming System of Kita, Mali. In Hanging by a Thread: Cotton, Globalization and Poverty in  Africa. W. Moseley and L. Gray, eds. Athens: Ohio University Press. Pp. 177-206.
  • 2007  Notions of Participation in Development Projects: Involuntary Resettlement at Manantali. In Cultures et pratiques participative: Une perspective comparative. Catherine Neveu, ed. Paris: Harmattan (Series Logiques Politiques). Pp. 213-231.
  • 2006  Food for the Malian Middle Class: An Invisible Cuisine. In Fast Food, Slow Food: The Economic Anthropology of the Global Food System. Richard Wilk, editor. Pp. 49-68. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira.
  • 2006  Political-economic Change, Cultural Traditions and Household Organization in Rural Mali. Labor in Cross-cultural Perspective. Society for Economic Anthropology, Monograph 22. E.P. Durrenberger and J. Marti, eds. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira. Pp. 45-63.
  • 2006 Mitigating Impoverishment in Development-induced Displacement and Resettlement. Book chapter in Development-induced Displacement: Problems, Policies and People. Chris deWet, ed. Oxford: Berghahn. Volume 18, Studies in Forced Migration. Pp. 105-140.
  • 1998 Innovation and Individuality in African Development: Changing Production Strategies in Rural Mali.  With Tiéman Diarra and Moussa Sow.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • 1995 Réinstallation et Développement dans la Zone du Barrage de Manantali.  With Tiéman Diarra, Yaouaga Kone and Fatoumata Maiga.  Bamako: Institut des Sciences Humaines.

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • 1998 Differential Responses of Rural Residents to Long-term Economic Change in Kita, Mali. Funded by National Science Foundation (SBR-9870628), Fulbright-Hays (P010A80001), and Broadening Access and Strengthening Input Market Systems (BASIS), University of Wisconsin, USAID.
  • 1993 "Mid-Term Consequences of Resettlement: Dam Relocation in Manantali, Mali."  National Science Foundation.