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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The politics of ethnicity and post-conflict reconstruction: the case of Northern Ghana
Authors:Kaye, Julie
Béland, DanielISNI
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:ethnic identity
ethnic conflicts
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02589000902867253
Abstract:Taking into account the complexity of contemporary ethnic conflicts, this article examines the construction and politicization of ethnicity to understand a recent case of postconflict reconstruction. More specifically, the article considers theories of postconflict reconstruction, particularly the conflict transformation school that claims to respond to the hybrid nature of recent ethnic conflicts. By adopting a constructivist perspective, the authors argue that postconflict reconstruction in ethnically-fragmented areas is largely about the problem of de-politicizing essentialist discourses of historically constructed ethnic identities. In order to explore this key theoretical issue, the article analyses the 1994-1995 case of conflict and reconstruction in the Northern Region of Ghana. The analysis draws on archival research and 21 interviews with individuals representing nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), traditional authorities, religious leaders, opinion leaders, and the State, conducted from August to October 2006 in Accra, the capital of Ghana, as well as Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region. Because very little research is available on postconflict reconstruction in Northern Ghana, the analysis fills a gap in the contemporary literature on ethnic conflict and postconflict reconstruction in West Africa. At a broader level, the article suggests that contemporary theories of postconflict reconstruction would gain from taking a more systematic look at the social and political construction of ethnic identities. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]