22.- 25.9
2020

P 28

The social production of war veterans in Africa, 20th-21st centuries. Identity processes and political re-mobilization

Camille Evrard, Madrid Institute for Advanced Study
Martin Mourre, Deutsche Historisches Institut-Paris/ Centre de recherches sur les politiques sociales
Romain Tiquet, Institut des mondes africains, CNRS

Short abstract:

This panel would like to draw attention to the formation of veterans' groups in Africa.
Concentrating on identity formation defined through the shared experience of military
violence allows us to ask a series of questions about the dynamics of contemporary Africa

Long abstract:

This panel would like to draw attention to the emergence of veterans' groups in Africa. From a historical point of view, several studies have recently focused on the participation of African soldiers from the British and French empires in world wars and wars of decolonization. The notion emerging out of Political Science of post-conflict has led to a reconsideration of local arenas for the production of public policies. However, little attention has been devoted exclusively to veterans in Africa from both a historical medium-term conjuncture and a resolutely comparative perspective. Concentrating on identity formation defined through the shared experience of military violence allows us to ask a series of questions about the dynamics of contemporary Africa.

Possible contributions could focus on biographical trajectories, whether related to war trauma, career paths in policing professions or as a spokesperson for certain causes. The hope is that papers will also seek to understand the normative aspect of the war experience. For example, the study of associations set up in post-conflict situations provides an interesting framework for understanding the processes of politicization, or even clientelization. Finally, the various papers will deal with the mobilization, or the forgetting, of colonial history, or the struggles for national liberation during the 1970s and 1980s in broader collective histories, through commemorations or links between different generations of soldiers.

 

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