Saturday, September 15, 2012

Writings, con't

An addendum to my mention of my recent article in Politique Africaine ("Rébellion et les limites de la consolidation de la paix en République Centrafricaine"): it has been pointed out to me that some who might not be interested in/have the time for the whole article might nevertheless like to read the abstract. So, here it is:

"This paper examines the cycle of rebellion that the Central African Republic (CAR) has fallen into over the past decade and the weaknesses of the internationally-led peacebuilding efforts that have been mustered in response. Rather than a unified state, the space maps delineate as the CAR is home to two governing tendencies, both of which take advantage of broader regional dynamics: (1) capital rentiers and (2) hinterland raiders with non-centralized modes of operating. The rebellions represent the instrumentalization of the latter by the former. But these temporary alliances have not unified the two modes of rule. An ever-tighter circle around the president controls capital politics, and rural residents remain marginalized. This paper argues that understanding insecurity and rebellion in CAR requires analysis of the specific dynamics that fostered their creation. In contrast, the peacebuilding structures advocated by international donors are founded on an ideal-type conception of the state that ignores the workings of politics on the ground. In this gap between vernacular and ideal-type politics, capital-based leaders have been able to pay lip service to the state ideals while actually pursuing their own prerogatives, with little fear of sanction. The example of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) provides a case study of how these processes work."

I wrote those words a year ago, and there's much I'd like to tweak now as my analysis of these processes has evolved. But I guess that's the nature of this line of work, and it's what keeps us writing.


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