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Africa: Citizenship, Violence and Politics
Submitted by corinne.deloy on Tue, 2019-02-12 11:59
Richard Banégas, Laurent Fourchard, Roland Marchal and Sandrine Perrot
This research group was launched in 2012. It aims to encourage in-depth discussions on citizenship crises and situations of political violence in Africa. The starting point of our reflection is that most violent situations that cross the African continent are more or less related to crises of citizenship.
Most conflicts have to do with the question of rights (political, social, economic, land and other), their recognition and, basically, the question of the imaginary and social contours of society - even if they are redefined concurrently by the state and/or by private actors who sometimes take control of the street and public space through violence.
By focusing on some of these actors (in particular self-defence groups, militias and other “vigilants”) who sometimes claim to be new sovereigns of local or national space, we wish to reflect on the reconfiguration of public spaces and state-society relations by going beyond qualifications in terms of privatization of violence or informalization of security.
Based in part on current events on the continent, the research group “Africa: Citizenship, Violence and Politics” takes the form of a seminar that is open to all. It aims to provide insight into research on situations of political violence south of the Sahara and to offer an alternative reading to the media and expert perspectives of these “crisis” situations. It values empirical surveys and innovative methodological approaches and aims to offer a broader reflection on the analytical frameworks used to think about the relationships between citizenship crises and political violence in Africa and elsewhere.
As a platform for reflection open to all specialists working on the continent, the “Africa: citizenship, violence and politics” group at CERI pursues a scientific objective. Through the public debates it encourages, the group also aims to disseminate academic knowledge in society. Finally, it aims to be a place of training and socialization in Africanist research for all students from Sciences Po and elsewhere who are interested in these issues.