Mainstreaming the Discourse on Restitution and Repatriation within African History, Heritage Studies and Political Science

  • Wazi Apoh University of Ghana
  • Andreas Mehler Freiburg University
Keywords: Mainstreaming;, Restitution;, Repatriation debates;, African voices;, interdisciplinary research;


The recent upsurge of interest in restitution and repatriation debates by practitioners
and scholars might offer appropriate chances for true interdisciplinary research.
Not only should historical, anthropological and legal studies take part in such a
conversation, but also, political science, archaeology and heritage studies. Resolutely
and systematically giving voice to both African stakeholders and African researchers
is an imperative. In this introduction, the fresh start of a rich debate is traced, providing
the framework for processing and understanding current debates and practices of
restitution. Essential and neglected questions are formulated. Detected voids call for
the mainstreaming of a new discourse on restitution and repatriation to play a pivotal
role in the epistemology of these allied disciplines and training

Author Biographies

Wazi Apoh, University of Ghana

Prof. Wazi Apoh ( is Associate Professor of Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Ghana. His specialty is in the fields of African archaeology, cultural heritage management, contract/salvage archaeology, forensic archaeology, the archaeology of German missionization and colonization of ‘Togoland’ and the archaeology of slavery in the Southern Volta of Ghana. He was Head of Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana between 2016 and 2018 and two time President of the West African Archaeological Association (WAAA) between 2015 and 2019. He is the
author of Revelations of Domination and Resilience: Unearthing the Buried Past of the Akpinis, Akans, Germans and British at Kpando, Ghana. Sub-Saharan Publishers, Accra (2019) and Concise Anthropology: The Five-Field Approach (2010). His co-edited books include ‘Germany and Its West African Colonies: “Excavations” of German Colonialism in Post-Colonial Times.’ (With Professor B. Lundt; 2013) and also ‘Current Perspectives on
the Archaeology of Ghana,’ (with Professor J. Anquandah and Professor B. Kankpeyeng; 2014).

Andreas Mehler, Freiburg University

Prof. Andreas Mehler ( is Director of the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute and Professor of Political Science at Freiburg University, Germany. He was Senior Researcher at the Conflict Prevention Network in Berlin between 2001 and 2002 and Director of the GIGA Institute of African Affairs in Hamburg between 2002 and 2015. He is the president of the executive council of the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA). Together with Henning Melber, he has co-edited the peerreviewed
and fully open-access academic journal Africa Spectrum from 2009 to 2018 and is co-editor of the yearly Africa Yearbook. Mehler has published extensively on conflict and security, state and statehood, power sharing, French Africa policy and democratisation in Africa south of the Sahara.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2343-6530