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Title:Warlord undone? Strongman politics and post-conflict state-building in Northeastern Côte d'Ivoire (2002-2013)
Author:Speight, Jeremy
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0008-3968)
Geographic term:Ivory Coast - Côte d'Ivoire
Subjects:State formation
local politics
political participation
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00083968.2014.943136
Abstract:This article examines the role played by strongmen in Côte d'Ivoire's post-conflict reconstruction. While many acknowledge the unhindered or even the enhanced political influence these actors often enjoy as a result of their relationship to the state in post-conflict contexts, existing debates in Côte d'Ivoire, as well as elsewhere, often remain couched in terms of the implications of these kinds of relationships. Does working with rural strongmen tied to former insurgencies enhance the authority of the central state? Or do such alliances wither state institutions capable of providing long-term political order in peripheral areas? This article downplays these questions. Instead, it examines the alliances which form between strongmen and other actors amidst conflicts over local authority during post-conflict reconstruction. It suggests that the specific configuration of these alliances matter in determining the utility of allying with local strongmen during war to peace transitions. This article examines these struggles through the case of Morou Ouattara and the local Forces Nouvelles (FN) administration in Bouna, Northeastern Côte d'Ivoire. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]