Camille Pellerin (PhD in Development Studies) is a researcher at the Department of Government. Her research focuses on state – society relations, democratisation, political reform, public administration and urban conflict in the Horn of Africa. Camille is an affiliate researcher at the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa. She co-coordinates the courses ‘Introduction to Development Studies’ (Bachelor level) and the ‘The Politics of Development’ (Master level)
Keywords: communal conflict public sector hybrid regimes and democratization politics of authoritarian regimes civil society
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Ongoing Research Projects
Bureaucracy and Ecopolitics in Ethiopia’s Political Transition – on the Role of Environmental Bureaucrats in Democratisation (Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development 2023-00948), joint project with Karin Leijon and Yonas Ashine Demise
The proposed project studies how bureaucrats influence the success or failure of environmental policy processes during periods of democratic reform. In charge of implementing and enforcing policies and often involved in policy formulation, bureaucrats influence success and failure of policy processes. Existing research has spanned many different policy areas, but only few studies exist on bureaucrats involvement in environmental policy. Moreover, while success of democratic transitions depends on democratic reforms, including reforms guaranteeing citizens’ environmental rights, the capacity and willingness of bureaucracies to support such reforms has been nearly completely neglected in previous research. The research gap is surprising, given the importance of environmental policy for sustainable and democratic development. We will conduct an empirically grounded case study of bureaucrats’ involvement in environmental policy in Ethiopia since 2018, to produce unique and much needed knowledge on how bureaucrats can both facilitate and hamper attempts at sustainable and democratic development. Combining document analysis with interviews and observations, the four-year project (1) analyses the organisation of the Ethiopian civil service; (2) explores how bureaucrats have supported and implemented or subverted and opposed environmental policy and (3) studies the relationships between the Ethiopian bureaucracy, politicians and experts involved in environmental policy processes.
State - Labour Relations under Authoritarian Rule: Co-optation, Cooperation, Coexistence, Contestation (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare 2020-00057)
How can we understand expansion and contraction of spaces where organization of labour is tolerated in non-democratic settings? Research on state-labour relations has yet to develop a theory that can account for the complexity and variations of their relations and interactions in such settings. While non-democratic regimes often meet strikes and other forms of organized labour activism with repression, on an every-day basis contestation and control take more diverse forms. To capture how trade unions bargain with and contest state power, as well as how states ensure every-day policing of trade unions, this project analyses different types of interactions between trade unions and state actors. Breaking down the analysis of state - labour relations to individual interactions, this project disaggregates the spheres of state and labour and captures their heterogenous character and relationships through an in-depth case study of thirty years of state – labour relations in Ethiopia (1991 - 2018). Taking negotiations around minimum wages as an entry point, the project analyses when and how trade unions have been able to place labour demands on the political agenda and when and to what extend labour demands have been legislated on an adhered to, asking: When have trade unions been able to push the issue of minimum wages against the interest of the state (contestation)? When have they pursued the minimum wage agenda without putting direct pressure on the state and operated at its distance (coexistence)? When have they cooperated with state actors to pursue the minimum wage agenda (cooperation)? And when has their minimum wage agenda become controlled by state actors (co-optation)? Drawing on archival data going back to 1991 and semi-structured interviews will allow me to shed light on how the reduction/enlargement of civic space shape possibilities for labour activism.
Shades of Civic Activism: State – Labour Relations in India and Ethiopia (Swedish Research Council, 2019-03564), joint project with Jenny Jansson (PI), Silke Neunsinger and Andreas Admasie
How can we understand expansion and contraction of civic space under different political regimes? Research on civil society–state relations has yet to develop a theory that can account for the complexity and variations of their relations and interactions on the continuum between authoritarian and democratic rule. Previous research has commonly adopted divergent theoretical frameworks for explaining civil society – state relations under democratic and under authoritarian rule. This project explores how different levels/scales of authoritarian and democratic rule shape possibilities for civic action through in-depth case studies of state – labour relations in two countries, India and Ethiopia. Taking negotiations around minimum wages as an entry point, we will analyse when and how trade unions have been able to place labour demands on the political agenda and when and to what extend labour demands have been legislated on an adhered to. Drawing on archival data going back to the 1960s and semi-structured interviews will allow us to (1) compare civil society – state relations under different levels/scales of authoritarian and democratic rule, (2) shed light on how the reduction/enlargement of civic space shape possibilities for civic action and (3) understand similarities and differences in civil society – state relations under different levels/scales of authoritarian versus democratic rule.
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