Development corridors, special economic zones, and large scale private or public investment projects are only some examples of how visions of future-making manifest on the ground. This panel invites studies which analyse how and why vision of future-making shape rural places.
The motivation for this panel comes from controversial debates about the future geography of rural Africa and how it is shaped by plans and politics in the present. These include the "Africa Rising"-debate, discussions on large-scale land acquisition, the integration into the global economy and the visions of modernity that are translated into ambitious national plans and spatial development initiatives. In this context, people in rural Africa are currently undergoing rapid changes of livelihoods, land-use, and social-ecological landscapes. As a consequence, rural transformation is approached along with the often quite contradictory assessments of its future outcomes ranging from the optimistic outlook of a "Grand Transformation" to more skeptical expectations concerning social exclusion and political instability. Against this backdrop, this panel invites theoretical discussions and empirical case studies concerning the role of space in future-making. How is future-making related to space-making? How do visions and policies of rural transformation manifest on the ground? Empirical examples may include development corridors, special economic zones, or large scale private or public investment projects.