INAF-369 Political Violence in Africa
Fall for 2013-2014
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This course will allow the students to deconstruct the specific causes, meanings, and consequences of political violence in 20th century Africa. We will explore recent and current categories of political violence including state violence against ethnic and regional minorities (Darfur, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia); the use of paramilitary militias by states to defeat oppposition groups (Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Kenya); and movements by militias and private armies to carve out control of resource-rich areas (the DRC, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria). This course will also explore the changing nature of political violence over the past 50 years, emphasizing the continuities and changes from the period of anti-colonial wars (Algeria, Kenya's 'Mau Mau' war, and the Liberation wars against the Portuguese); examples of Cold War related political violence and wars (Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia/Eritrea, and Somalia), and urban anti-apartheid political violence in South Africa.
The changing nature of violence itself will be a main theme, examining the role of child soldiers, political motivations behind ethnic 'cleansing' and genocide, and the influence of external military aid, private soldiers, and the international arms trade. We will also investigate how African peace movements and the international community have responded to political violence. The role and limits of non-violence, humanitarian aid, and peace keeping to confront these new realities will also be examined. A fundamental goal of the course is to gain a better understanding of how political violence has transformed notions of sovereignty, citizenship, human rights, and the rule of law in specific African contexts.
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