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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:War Making and State Making in Central Africa
Author:Niemann, Michael
Periodical:Africa Today
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:State formation
political stability
Politics and Government
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:Much of the current writing on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) falls within the 'failed State category' of analysis, and, like the writing on the State in Africa in general, it started out with debates over the decline of the State. However, this article argues that the continued conflict in the DRC has resulted, not from the 'failed State syndrome', but from the continuing struggle to establish viable States on the ruins of repressive colonial States. Starting with Charles Tilly's (1985) account of the process of Statemaking in Europe, the author outlines similarities as well as dissimilarities between Tilly's model and the current conflict in the DRC. Significant differences include the global set of dynamic forces that are usually described as globalization, and the role of ethnopolitics. The author argues that while control over resources and the means of violence is a crucially motivating factor, the largely forgotten questions of membership in political communities are at the core of the conflict. The conclusion highlights possible alternative strategies to be pursued. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]