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GLOCALISED DEVELOPMENT, CITY/COUNTRYSIDE RE-ARTICULATIONS AND RELIGIOUS PROSELYTISING: EXPLORING THE TRANS-NATIONAL DYNAMICS AND PRACTICES OF RURAL/URBAN TRANSFORMATIONS IN TURUFE (WEST ARSI ZONE, OROMIYAA REGION) [Abstract ID: 1205-15]
Continuing the previous investigations conducted by the WIDE research team in the Turufe district (qebele) of the Oromiyaa West Arsi Zone, this contribution aims to provide a deeper understanding of the plural local, national and global dynamics and practices of the development policies implemented for the last two decades in this rural community bordering or near municipalities. By applying Robertson’s concept of ‘glocalization’ to the field of development, this study proposes to explore the trans-local interactions and trans-national relationships developed around the recent rural/urban transformations, (re-)articulating the socio-cultural identity of the Turufe community – or locality – within and beyond the local, regional and federal Ethiopian state frameworks. From the Derg’s villagization program to the current rurbanisation along the expansion of regional and local towns like Shashamene and Kuyera, the administrative reorganisations and socioeconomic transformations of Turufe district have deeply reordered the former rural/urban networks and trans-local/national solidarities. They have also fostered the emergence of new entrepreneurs of ‘glocalised development’ – regional administrators, foreign investors and migrant workers – challenging the ‘traditional’ position and authority of local leaders and federations. Last but not the least, these social de-territorialization and re-territorialization processes involve religious actors, too. These other promoters of development range from the early Catholic missions to the present ‘indigenous’ agents of Christian or Muslim reformist projects, embedded into trans-national connections with Arsi, Bale or other regional neighbourhoods and migrant communities in North America or in the Middle East.