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The Value of Disorder
Autonomy, Prosperity, and Plunder in the Chadian Sahara

Part of African Studies

  • Date Published: July 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108428330


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About the Authors
  • Despite being central to the development of Saharan regional connectivity, northern Chad has been closed to researchers since the late 1960s and thus remains virtually unknown to scholarship. Based on long-term fieldwork, The Value of Disorder is an original and in-depth account of the area and its Tubu majority inhabitants. Julien Brachet and Judith Scheele examine trans-border connectivity and trade; civil war and rebellion; wealth creation and dispersal; labour and gender relations; and aspirations to moral autonomy in northern Chad from an internal point of view - a point of view that in turn participates in a dynamic process of regional interdependence. Vividly ethnographic, the book gives precedence to local categories of value, while asking broader questions about the nature of non-state regional political organisation. Questions that inform current political developments in the Sahara more widely, and have the potential to challenge key concepts in Saharan studies and the social sciences.

    • Provides original research on an area that is little known, but hotly contested
    • Challenges some of the main assumptions of the social sciences, about the nature of exchange, wealth creation, violent conflict and political order
    • Thematically organised, this book provides vivid historical and ethnographic accounts, and contains original maps and illustrations
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108428330
    • length: 372 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.72kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. A never-ending conquest: settlement and the making of a Saharan town
    2. Fifty shades of Khaki: armed conflict and other entanglements
    3. Trouble in the Palm-Grove: labour, status, ownership
    4. Tricks of trade: production, protection and predation
    5. Great ploys and small expectations: accumulation and dispersal in a half-world
    6. The state encompassed: everyday disorder, the aesthetics of violence, and the political imagination

  • Authors

    Julien Brachet, Universite Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne
    Julien Brachet is a Research Fellow at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is the author of Migrations transsahariennes: Vers un désert cosmopolite et morcelé (2009).

    Judith Scheele, Écoles des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociale
    Judith Scheele is Directrice d'études at the Écoles des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. She is the author of Village Matters: Politics, Knowledge and Community in Kabylia (2009), and Smugglers and Saints of the Sahara: Regional Connectivity in the Twentieth Century (2012).

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