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Kelsey Draper

Modelling human well-being for fisheries management: Science, extraction and a politics of nature in Walvis Bay, Namibia

Kelsey’s PhD research focuses on the industrial hake fishery in Walvis Bay, Namibia. Her research investigates the ways in which the logic of neoliberalism affects relations between scientific knowledge production, historical labour practices, political decision-making and local traditions of knowing and navigating the ocean. Her PhD explores the efficacy of statistical and scientific models in the industrial fishing sector and considers how breakdowns between the scientific, social and political knowledge worlds can be usefully brought into the fisheries management framework. By focusing on the relations of risk in the everyday lives of Walvis Bay workers and residents, the study offers an innovative approach that combines political economy and political ecology in Namibian fisheries management. Her research proposes how the consideration of historical injustices in fisheries ecology offers pathways toward ecological and economic justice. 

Kelsey received her PhD in Social Anthropology from UCT in June 2018. Originally from the USA, Kelsey was based in southern Africa from 2009 to 2015. Her research interests include political economy and labour; science and technology studies and carceral logics; decolonial theory and philosophy of liberation; and critical race studies. Kelsey is currently based in Brooklyn, New York and is working in the legal field of civil rights and child welfare advocacy.