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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Military Patrimonialism and Child Soldier Clientalism in the Liberia and Sierra Leonean Civil Wars
Author:Murphy, William P.
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic terms:Sierra Leone
child soldiers
Military, Defense and Arms
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1514826
Abstract:This article uses a Weberian model of patrimonialism to analyse clientalist and 'staff' roles of child soldiers in the military regimes of the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone. It thereby examines institutional aspects of child soldier identity and behaviour not addressed in other standard models of child soldiers as coerced victims, revolutionary idealists, or delinquent opportunists. It shifts analytical attention from nation-State patrimonialism to the patrimonial dimensions of rebel regimes. It locates child soldiers within a social organization of domination and reciprocity based on violence structured through patronage ties with military commanders. It identifies child soldier 'staff' functions within the administration of a patrimonial regime. A Weberian focus on the institutionalization and strategies of domination and dependency provides a corrective to views that exoticize child soldiers, decontextualize their behaviour, or essentialize their 'youth' as an explanatory principle. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]