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

  • Henrik Vigh


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.



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