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Ruptures revoked: why the Central African Republic's unprecedented crisis has not altered deep-seated patterns of governance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 August 2018

Tim Glawion*
Affiliation:
GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Institute of African Affairs, Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, 20354 Hamburg, Germany
Lotje de Vries*
Affiliation:
Wageningen University, Sociology of Development and Change Group, PO Box 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen, the Netherlands

Abstract

The Central African Republic experienced unprecedented violence between 2012 and 2014. We analyse three recent ruptures that developed as a result of this crisis, suggesting a break with the country's past. First, the Séléka rebellion that started in 2012; second, the establishment of a robust UN Peacekeeping mission in 2014; and finally, the democratic election of a civilian president in 2016. However, three deep-rooted patterns of governance have in each case transformed these ruptures. A history of outsourced politics, a plurality of violence and peripheral neglect push actors to perpetuate the violent past rather than breaking with it. We conclude that after an initial attempt to break with the CAR's long-term political economic trends, rebel groups, the UN mission and the democratic government have backtracked and now risk reinforcing the violence that mark politics and everyday life in the country.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 

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