These issues notwithstanding, the volume does offer important contributions to contemporary understandings of African conflicts. In most cases, the substantive analyses of conflicts are illuminating. Ethnic conflict strains the bonds that sustain civility and is often seen as the root of violence …. The second is to present an alternative framework that locates the engine of civil strife in political and socio-economic factors. Instead of reducing ethnicity to an illusion, an artificial creation, born in the sin of colonialism, the authors choose to take it seriously. Osaghae 1991 is one example of a typical follower of Horowitz as he sees cultural and linguistic factors connected to ethnicity as possible causes for conflict in their own right. In this context, the relationship between ethnicity and nation-building has to be rethought, and multiculturalism and democracy should be regarded as prerequisites for a truly developmental state.
Jackson, Robert 1990 Quasi-states: Sovereignty, International Relations and the Third World. The two main arguments in the book are to contest the reduction of African civil wars to ethnic conflicts, and to point out the emergence of civil wars as the result of political struggles. A social basis for armed conflict came out of this process, which could not be conceptualised in ethnic terms, although the emerging civil war created sub-ethnic dividing lines as a result of the rivalry for support from the chiefs and other traditional leaders by the warring parts. This opens the national stage for local despots with ethnic recruits. Peter VonDoepp Assistant Professor University of North Texas This content downloaded from 185. Perhaps, it would be more fruitful to search for the basic causes for the conflicts? We all carry with us a flexible set of identities and the ways in which we define ourselves and others are in accordance with sets of beliefs, values and perceptions that are susceptible to change over time.
This privatisation of the public has three consequences. The book aims at bringing the polit The two main arguments in the book are to contest the reduction of African civil wars to ethnic conflicts, and to point out the emergence of civil wars as the result of political struggles. The answer to this question is embedded in and conditioned by historical circumstances and processes of political and economic transformation. Moreover, while the broader theoretical framework restates certain issues raised in other academic literature, it still offers important insights for scholars seeking to make sense of ongoing occurrences of civil strife. The prior conservative regime had cultivated ethnic rights and regulated customary tenure; the conflict became largely rurally based and inter-ethnic See Lema 2000. While civic power was racialised, the native authority was tribalised.
Consequently, some types of changes must have taken place compared to earlier warfare. In accordance with Médard 1982; 1996 , we argue that patrimonial logic is an integrated part of the state, it is present and co-exists with other kind of logics such as the legal-rational bureaucratic logic or the capitalist logic. By focusing on the context of ethnicity we also hope to shed some critical light on the simplifications made inside and outside academia in accounting for civil wars in the region. Although this kind of state is far from what it pretends to be, it is able to extract and redistribute resources, but this extraction and redistribution is privatised. Efforts to secure lasting peace in Sub-Saharan Africa must therefore be concerned with social justice and combined with measures to fight poverty, locally and globally. According to Bayart 1993 , this happens when the reciprocal assimilation of elites has been exhausted.
Saether The Politics of War: A Meditation; V. The political elite builds support through distributing resources on a personal basis to followers, whereas relatively few resources are distributed in accordance with principles of bureaucratic rationality and accountability Richards 1996. Thus, due to resource shortages the ability of the state to control its peripheral regions was weakened, and the loyalty, of in particular the younger generation, was tested. Indeed, in Lema's view, the emergence of conflict was seem- ingly inevitable. Thus, as we turn to the question of transition to peace from war, we yet once more return to the source of fighting — the post-colonial state and the two central turning points in the trajectory of the post-colonial state. Register a Free 1 month Trial Account. The central objectives of the book are twofold.
Sundberg The Political Economy of State Collapse in Somalia and Liberia; G. The ethnic marking of African communities thus reflected the peripheral nature of the powerless Lema 1993:172. However, under conservative regimes this access has depended on membership in an ethnic community, by virtue of customary tenure. Nigeria, Great Lakes Region, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sudan it is evident that ethnicity has played a complicated role in a long history of cross-community relations. However, it is also clear that in other cases one can indeed trace the identity of communities far backwards.
Indeed, in their critique of existing approaches to conflict, the volume's editors cite more journalists than they do academics. No monocausal analysis can grasp the complexity of the factors behind such tragic events as civil wars. It is at the second turning point that conflict is socialised by competing elites and counter elites potential warlords that mobilise and recruit the henchmen that are willing to take up arms. Anne Sundberg's analysis of conflict in Congo-Brazzaville also highlights the importance of political and socio- economic factors. The support is not only important militarily, but it is also a source of accumulation for parties to the conflict.
Social Struggles for Power, Resources and Identities in the Neopatrimonial State; E. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. This dualism was institutionalised by law. The main assumption in this volume is that even though ethnic affiliations often structure the constitution of armed factions it is too simplistic to characterise war in Africa as tribal conflict. Highlighting the neopatri- monial character of politics in Africa, the authors argue that the state can be both the generator of social stress such as inequality and the locus of interactions among political elites as they compete for scarce resources.