Presentation Title

Nationalism and violence in Africa: case study in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Start Date

10-2-2021 3:30 PM

End Date

10-2-2021 4:30 PM

Proposal Type

Presentation

Proposal Description

The struggle for recognition and nation building is one of the forms of conflict that have marked history and continues to fuel debates today (Havard, 2007). From Corsica in France, to the Basque Country in Spain, via the Kurds, spread between Turkey, Iran and Syria, identity mobilization regularly attracts media coverage across the planet. While in academic circles the literature dealing with questions of secession, autonomy and nationalism is booming (Dominici, 2004; Rigoni, 1999; Joly, 2004). This double media and academic attention is however little observed in certain regions of the world. This is the case in Africa where local groups have the same type of demands and produce the same violence with the same magnitude. Our study focuses on nationalism and violence in Africa. We are interested in the emergence and rooting of movements born in the wake of colonization (Joset, 1968). A case study in the Democratic Republic of Congo examines the rhetoric developed by the leaders of these organizations. The observation is that most of them rely on social misery and the inequalities with which they accuse the public authorities. Focusing on "us" against "others", this discourse strongly mobilizes in rural areas and promotes violence against "foreigners" (Mouflet, 2009). We examine this phenomenon based on the constructivist and instrumentalist approaches of ethnicity and nations (Smith 2009, Wilkinson 2000). A documentary analysis, to be completed by empirical research, makes it possible to identify the contradictions which characterize these groups. In the end, we recommend a response that integrates the dimension of social justice as one of the possible ways of resolving conflicts in which this type of movement plays a role.

Keywords: Nation, nationalism, violence, ethnicity, social justice.

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Feb 10th, 3:30 PM Feb 10th, 4:30 PM

Nationalism and violence in Africa: case study in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The struggle for recognition and nation building is one of the forms of conflict that have marked history and continues to fuel debates today (Havard, 2007). From Corsica in France, to the Basque Country in Spain, via the Kurds, spread between Turkey, Iran and Syria, identity mobilization regularly attracts media coverage across the planet. While in academic circles the literature dealing with questions of secession, autonomy and nationalism is booming (Dominici, 2004; Rigoni, 1999; Joly, 2004). This double media and academic attention is however little observed in certain regions of the world. This is the case in Africa where local groups have the same type of demands and produce the same violence with the same magnitude. Our study focuses on nationalism and violence in Africa. We are interested in the emergence and rooting of movements born in the wake of colonization (Joset, 1968). A case study in the Democratic Republic of Congo examines the rhetoric developed by the leaders of these organizations. The observation is that most of them rely on social misery and the inequalities with which they accuse the public authorities. Focusing on "us" against "others", this discourse strongly mobilizes in rural areas and promotes violence against "foreigners" (Mouflet, 2009). We examine this phenomenon based on the constructivist and instrumentalist approaches of ethnicity and nations (Smith 2009, Wilkinson 2000). A documentary analysis, to be completed by empirical research, makes it possible to identify the contradictions which characterize these groups. In the end, we recommend a response that integrates the dimension of social justice as one of the possible ways of resolving conflicts in which this type of movement plays a role.

Keywords: Nation, nationalism, violence, ethnicity, social justice.