Expeditions and Field Studies

Scientific expeditions have always been one of the Brighter components of the activities of the Institute for African Studies. In the 1960s these expeditions became a regular activity of the Institute. The key feature of all research expeditions in African countries has been their integrated nature. The Institute's field studies started with the 1971 joint Soviet-Somalian expedition. Yhen Russian researches focused their attention on the studies of social-economic processes in Somalia and on the history of the national liberation movement of the Somali people.

The Russian expedition to Ethiopia in 1991-1992 followed the tradition of previous field studies; it gathered a unique historical and ethnological material. On the basis of in-depth polling of various groups of people there has been made a comprehensive analysis of the social structure of Ethiopian society.

In the 2000s, expeditions and field studies have become a priority in the Institute's activities. In 2003? an expedition was sent to Tanzania, where it studied inter-confessional relations and their impact on social development. That expedition has been the first one in the East Africa in the history of Russian Africanistics. Then there was the second expedition to Tanzania (2005) aimed at exploring inter-ethnic and interracial relations in the country.

In the mid-2000s, a new prospective course of studies was practiced by the Institute: the analysis of the processes of socio-cultural adaptation of both voluntary and forced migrants from Africa and their descendants. Thereupon, a sociological polling has been carried out among the natives of Africa in Western Europe and African migrants in Russia.

Within the framework of the Russian humanitarian science foundation program "Image of Russia in the Modern World" in 2006-2008 the Institute's researchers took part in the field studies in Benin, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, South Africa.

The findings of the expeditions and field studies have been published in collections of works as well as in Russian and foreign learned journals.