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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Enough is Enough': An Ethnography of the Struggle against Impunity in Burkina Faso
Author:Hagberg, StenISNI
Year:2002
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Volume:40
Issue:2
Period:June
Pages:217-246
Language:English
Geographic term:Burkina Faso
Subjects:legitimacy
political conflicts
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3876278
Abstract:This article examines the criminalization of the State by means of an account of the struggle against impunity, that is, the freedom from punishment for 'blood' and economic crimes committed by holders of political power, in Burkina Faso. It analyses the ways in which sociopolitical opposition is expressed by looking into the morally loaded discourse of political legitimacy in the country that emerged after the assassination of the journalist Norbert Zongo in December 1998. Since that time, the issue of impunity has become a leading theme in Burkinabe politics in general, and in the popular and trade union movement 'Trop c'est trop' (Enough is enough) in particular. Through the analysis of different political statements, newspapers and various comments from the 'street', the article locates the struggle against impunity in a social and political undercurrent in Burkinabe society. In this context, notions of public space are central, because the public space defines both the boundaries of public debate and the behaviour of key political actors. Two recurrent themes in Burkinabe political discourse, namely ideas of truth and courage, and the legitimacy of White people, illustrate the various ways in which sociopolitical opposition seeks to define the public space within which politics is to be practised. The concluding section shows how appeals to cultural norms underpin the struggle against impunity in Burkina Faso. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.
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