Alena Thiel

Alena Thiel

teaching assistant, Guest Researcher

My research is concerned with the role of (biometric) identification technologies in Ghana. Taking the promise of the “data revolution” of the Ghanaian population data system as a starting point, my ongoing project “Identification Technologies in Ghana” explores how Ghanaian policy makers integrate previously isolated, administrative population registers for new, interoperability-based applications.

I obtained my PhD in 2016 from the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law, University of Aberdeen. I have previously been a research fellow at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies (2011-2017), the University of Leipzig (2017) and the University of Bayreuth (2018-2019), and have carried out research fellowships at the African Studies Centre Leiden (2017), Sciences Po Paris (2018), and the University of the Witwatersrand/WiSER (2018). My projects have been awarded funding within the framework of the DFG priority programme SPP1448 (2017), the DAAD PRIME/EU Marie Curie Actions programme (2018-2019) and recently, the German Research Foundation’s individual research grant scheme (2019-2022). I am Associate Editor of Africa Spectrum.

Primary fields of research

Current research themes: Identification technologies; Data infrastructures; Measurement policies, ‘governance by numbers’; Technicization of citizenship; Sociology of quantification; Anthropology of the state; Theories of travelling models, translation and adaptation; Temporalities

ID: 324646410