Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Conflictual Motion and Political Inertia: On Rebellions and Revolutions in Bissau and Beyond

  • Henrik Vigh

Abstract:

Taking its point of departure in the distinction between rebellions and revolutions, this article sheds light on civil war in Guinea-Bissau and West Africa. It builds on prolonged fieldwork among the Aguentas, a militia of urban youth in Bissau, and interrogates their experiences of warfare to further our understanding of some of the dynamics of conflict in the region. It argues that a defining feature of the conflict we have seen in many parts of West Africa is political inertia. Key conflicts, rather than leading to actual sociopolitical change, seem to represent the tremors of chronically unstable political systems: incessant rebellions rather than decisive revolution.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Aho, James A. 1999 [1994]. This Thing of Darkness: a Sociology of the Enemy. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Amnesty International. 1999. Guinea-Bissau: Human Rights in War and Peace. London: Amnesty International Publications.
Arnaut, Karel. 2006. “Regenerating Nation: Youth Revolution and the Politics of History in Côte d'Ivoire.” In Vanguard or Vandals: Youth Politics and Conflict in Africa, edited by Abbink, J. and van Kessel, I.. Leiden: Brill.
Bayart, Jean-Francios. 1993. The State in Africa: The Politics of the Belly. London: Longman.
Beyerchen, Alen D. 1992. “Clausewitz, Nonlinearity, and the Unpredictability of War.” International Security 17 (3): 5990.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1992 [1977]. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chabal, Patrick, and Daloz, Jean-Pascal. 1999. Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument. Oxford: James Currey.
Christensen, Maya, and Utas, Mats. 2008. Mercenaries of Democracy: The ‘Politricks’ of Remobilized Combatants in the 2007 General Elections, Sierra Leone. African Affairs 107 (429): 515–39
Clausewitz, Carl M. von. 1997. On War. Ware, U.K.: Wordsworth.
Deas, Malcolm. 1997. “Violent Exchanges: Reflexions on Political Violence in Colombia.” In The Legitimization of Violence, edited by Apter, D., 350404. New York: New York University Press.
Duffield, Mark. 1998. “Post-modern Conflict: Warlords, Post-adjustment States and Private Protection.” Civil Wars 1 (1): 65102.
Duffield, Mark. 2007. Development, Security and Unending Wars: Governing the World of People. Cambridge, U.K.: Polity.
Ellis, Stephen. 2006. The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimensions of an African Civil War. New York: New York University Press
Forrest, Joshua B. 1987. “Guinea-Bissau since Independence: A Decade of Power Struggles.” The Journal ofModern African Studies 25 (1): 95116.
Fortes, Meyer. 1984. “Age, Generation, and Social Structure.” In Age and Anthropological Theory, edited by Kertzer, D. E. and Kieth, J., 99122. London: Ichaca.
Gluckman, Max. 1963. Order and Rebellion in Tribal Africa. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe.
Hinkelammert, Franz J. 1993. “The Crisis of Socialism and the Third World.” Monthly Review 45 (3): 105–14.
Huband, Mark. 1998. The Liberian Civil War. New York: Routledge.
Jouanna, Arlette. 1998. Le Devoir de Revolte. Paris: Fayard.
Kaldor, Mary. 1999. New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Keen, David. 2005. Conflict and Collusion in Sierra Leone. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Mbembe, Achilles. 2003. “Necropolitics.” Public Culture 15(1): 1140.
Reno, William. 1999. War Lord Politics and African States. Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner.
Richards, Paul. 1996. Fighting for the Rain Forest: War, Youth and Resources in Sierra Leone. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.
Richards, Paul. 2005. “New War: An Ethnographic Approach.” In No Peace, No War: An Anthology of Contemporary Armed Conflict, edited by Richards, P.. Athens: Ohio University Press.
Taussig, Michael. 1992. The Nervous System. New York: Routledge.
Willmot, Louise. 1997. “Introduction.” In On War, edited by von Clausewitz, C. M.. Ware, U.K.: Wordsworth.
Utas, Mats. 2003. “Sweet Battlefields: Youth and the Liberian Civil War”. Ph.D. diss.: Uppsala University.
Utas, Mats. 2005. “Victimcy, Girlfriending, Soldiering: Tactic Agency in a Young Woman6s Social Navigation of the Liberian War Zone.” Anthropological Quarterly 78(2): 403–30.
Vigh, Henrik. 2006a [2003]. Navigating Terrains of War: Youth and Soldiering in Guinea-Bissau. Oxford: Berghahn.
Vigh, Henrik. 2006b. “Social Death and Violent Life Chances.” In Navigating Youth, Generating Adulthood: Social Becoming in an African Context, edited by Christiansen, C., Utas, M., and Vigh, H.. Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute Press.
Vigh, Henrik. 2008. “Crisis and Chronicity: Anthropological Perspectives on Continuous Conflict and Decline.” Ethnos 28 (1): 525.
Žižec, Slavoj. 1998. “For a Leftist Appropriation of the European Legacy.” Journal of Political Ideologies 3(1): 6378.
Žižec, Slavoj. 2001. “Psychoanalysis and the Post-Political: An Interview with Slavoj Žižec.” New Literary History 32: 121.
Žižec, Slavoj. 2008. Violence. London: Profile Books

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed