African Trajectories

in The Perils of Belonging

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226289649
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226289663 | DOI:
African Trajectories

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This chapter concentrates on the Ivory Coast, where local violence against allogènes has recently taken on particularly shocking forms. The segmentary nature of the African continent, the paradox between apparent safety and deep insecurity, and the naturalizing purport that gives it such high mobilizing propensity are elaborated upon. The rapid rise and demise of the ivoirité notion might be revealing for the awkward and confusing implications of autochthony thinking. The Ivory Coast quickly became an extreme example of the an area where violent propensities of tensions over autochthony, belonging, and exclusion could occur. The Kivu is a striking example of how directly the vicissitudes of the idea of national citizenship during the proud period of nation-building impacted the subsequent autochthony backlash. The main implication of the African examples might be that autochthony's paradoxical combination of self-evidence and great uncertainty can be especially dangerous.

Keywords: autochthony; Ivory Coast; ivoirité; violence; belonging; exclusion; Kivu; national citizenship

Chapter.  13775 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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