The Hague Colloquium on the Future of Legal Identity

Civil Registration Centre for Development, The Hague and the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, Johannesburg

Anna Rader


Anna’s doctoral research explores practices of identification in Somaliland in the Horn of Africa. Her thesis considers the ways in which identity is verified by reference to personal and national genealogies, and how these topographies are incorporated and sometimes co-opted by state systems of legibility. As part of this work, she is studying practices of ‘horizontal’ identity authentication, in particular vouching, and how these fit with conceptions of citizenship in Somaliland. She is also investigating the voter registration process of 2008-10 to understand more about attitudes and ideas towards identification. Anna has spent six months in Somaliland since 2012 as part of ongoing fieldwork. In December 2012 she worked as an international observer for the local council elections, and has conducted a range of qualitative interviews and observations, predominantly in the capital Hargeisa.