Wish/Fish Seminar 20 February – Living by the Gun in Chad by M. Debos

Monday 20 February 2017, 15:00

Wiser Seminar Room, 6th Floor • Richard Ward Building • East Campus, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Living by the Gun in Chad: Combatants, Impunity and State Formation by Marielle Debos (Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense/ISP & IUF)

How do people live in a country that has experienced rebellions and state-organised repressions for decades, and that is still marked by routine forms of violence and impunity? What do combatants do when they are not mobilised for war? Drawing on over ten years of fieldwork conducted in Chad, Marielle Debos explains how living by the gun has become both an acceptable form of political expression and an everyday occupation.

Contrary to the popular association of violence and chaos, she shows that these fighters continue to observe rules, frontiers and hierarchies, even as their allegiances shift between rebel and government forces, and as they drift between Chad, Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic. Going further, she explores the role of the globalised politico-military entrepreneurs and highlights the long involvement of the French military in the country. Ultimately, the book demonstrates that ending the war is not enough. The issue is ending the ‘inter-war’ which is maintained and reproduced by state violence.

Marielle Debos is Associate Professor in Political Science at the University Paris Nanterre, Institute for Social Sciences of Politics (ISP). She is a junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF). Before her appointment at Nanterre, she was a Marie Curie fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include armed conflicts in Africa, state formation, and citizenship, with a focus on Chad.

Join us for wine and cheese afterwards.

More details for seminars during the first semester on http://wiser.wits.ac.za/seminars. Stay connected for other Wish/Fish Seminars on the second semester!

RSVP: comm.research@ifas.org.za