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Everyday resistance in post-conflict statebuilding: the case of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

de Heredia, Marta Iñiguez (2013) Everyday resistance in post-conflict statebuilding: the case of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The thesis explores everyday resistance in post-conflict statebuilding. Despite the turn in peace and conflict studies to study everyday forms of resistance, the concept and the account of its practices remain limited. In addressing these limitations, the thesis develops an alternative account of both resistance and post-conflict statebuilding. Following the framework of James Scott, resistance is understood as the pattern of acts of individuals and collectives in a position of subordination against the everyday experience of domination. What is resisted is not an externally driven liberal intervention, but the coercive and extractive practices fostered by statebuilding. These dynamics are examined through the case of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, focusing on the provinces of North and South Kivu. Generally studied as a paradigmatic case of state-failure, the DRC provides an insight into post-conflict statebuilding as a plural, improvised and contradictory process. In the thesis, this is linked to historical and sociological practices of statebuilding more generally, and to the specificities of the African political space. Although statebuilding claims to be a strategy to restore state authority, peace, and democracy, the result has so far been a militarised environment, a pluralisation of state authority and a deterioration of living conditions. The thesis examines discursive, violent and survival practices that deny statebuilders the claim to legitimate authority and to the monopoly of violence, while enacting alternative channels of re-appropriation based on solidarity and reciprocity. Post-conflict statebuilding does not require a special framework of resistance. It requires a historicised account of practices, which grasps their heterogeneity and gradients, and which ultimately accounts for resistance as a prosaic presence in the relations of domination that sustain statebuilding.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Marta Iñiguez de Heredia
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Lawson, George and Hoffman, Mark

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