Making War in Cote D'Ivoire

Making War in Cote D'Ivoire

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There is no civil war in Cote d'Ivoire. Even though a failed coup attempt in 2002 led to five years of violent clashes, the dispatch of 11,000 peacekeepers to the country, and the deaths of thousands of people, the conflict in Cote d'Ivoire has taken place in a grey area between peace and war. What keeps this perpetually tense, dismal, and destructive situation simmering? In this groundbreaking book, Mike McGovern suggests the answer lies in understanding war as a process, not a series of events, and that rather than focus on the role of political institutions, we should be paying attention to the flawed and unpredictable people within them. McGovern argues that only deep knowledge of a region - its history, languages, literature, and popular culture - can yield meaningful insights into political decision making. Putting this theory into action, he examines an array of issues from the micro to the macro, including land tenure disputes, youth boredom, organized crime at the national and local levels, and the international cocoa trade.
Drawn from McGovern's experience working for a conflict resolution think tank and the political access that position gave him, "Making War in Cote d'Ivoire" will be the definitive work on the Ivorian conflict and an innovative example of how anthropology can address the complexities of politics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 240 pages
  • 142.24 x 218.44 x 22.86mm | 453.59g
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • English
  • 0226514595
  • 9780226514598

Review quote

"McGovern skillfully unmasks the financial interests at stake in [Cote d'Ivoire's] politics."--Nicolas Van De Walle"Foreign Affairs" (01/03/2012) "This cleverly conceptualized 'inside-out' analysis commends itself through a deep contextual knowledge and fully lives up to its interdisciplinary aspirations. . . . McGovern convincingly guides the reader through his sophisticated argument. The passion of someone who has a long professional experience in the region as well as an impressive interdisciplinary academic background speaks through each and every line of the book and makes the work appealing to a broad audience" --Benedikt Erforth "African Studies Quarterly " McGovern skillfully unmasks the financial interests at stake in [Cote d'Ivoire's] politics. --Nicolas Van De Walle"Foreign Affairs" (01/03/2012)" This cleverly conceptualized inside-out analysis commends itself through a deep contextual knowledge and fully lives up to its interdisciplinary aspirations. . . . McGovern convincingly guides the reader through his sophisticated argument. The passion of someone who has a long professional experience in the region as well as an impressive interdisciplinary academic background speaks through each and every line of the book and makes the work appealing to a broad audience --Benedikt Erforth "African Studies Quarterly "" "There is no serious book in English on the Ivorian war. This is a gap that Mike McGovern sets out to fill. He brings to his task a firsthand knowledge of leading actors in the Ivorian conflict and of some of the country's war zones, gained through academic and policy-oriented research."--Stephen Ellis, Free University of Amsterdam "With the craft of an expert anthropologist who knows something about political science and sociology, Mike McGovern explains how local customs, burning political issues, and the economies of patronage and privilege fuel the politics of violence, showing how conflicts are made, not just how they happen. McGovern is at the forefront of the study of the empirical conditions and processes that lead to wars in the more troubled parts of Africa. Even readers who know or care little about Cote d'Ivoire will gain insights into the intersection of patronage politics, state collapse, and conflict."

--William Reno, Northwestern University "Mike McGovern shows masterfully how anthropology can clarify the extremely complicated situation in Cote d'Ivoire: the politics of resentment, rhetoric, and dramaturgy, the blocked cocoa-frontier, the colonial heritage, and the precarious alignment of different interests. Since 2000, the threat of violence has been constantly there, yet nothing is preordained. This book is a model for how to understand a mesmerizing situation without reducing its complexity."--Peter Geschiere, University of Amsterdam With the craft of an expert anthropologist who knows something about political science and sociology, Mike McGovern explains how local customs, burning political issues, and the economies of patronage and privilege fuel the politics of violence, showing how conflicts are made, not just how they happen. McGovern is at the forefront of the study of the empirical conditions and processes that lead to wars in the more troubled parts of Africa. Even readers who know or care little about Cote d Ivoire will gain insights into the intersection of patronage politics, state collapse, and conflict.
--William Reno, Northwestern University" Mike McGovern shows masterfully how anthropology can clarify the extremely complicated situation in Cote d Ivoire: the politics of resentment, rhetoric, and dramaturgy, the blocked cocoa-frontier, the colonial heritage, and the precarious alignment of different interests. Since 2000, the threat of violence has been constantly there, yet nothing is preordained. This book is a model for how to understand a mesmerizing situation without reducing its complexity. --Peter Geschiere, University of Amsterdam" "With the craft of an expert anthropologist who knows something about political science and sociology, Mike McGovern explains how local customs, burning political issues, and the economies of patronage and privilege fuel the politics of violence, showing how conflicts are made, not just how they happen. McGovern is at the forefront of the study of the empirical conditions and processes that lead to wars in the more troubled parts of Africa. Even readers who know or care little about Cote d'Ivoire will gain insights into the intersection of patronage politics, state collapse, and conflict."

--William Reno, Northwestern University "Mike McGovern shows masterfully how anthropology can clarify the extremely complicated situation in Cote d'Ivoire: the politics of resentment, rhetoric, and dramaturgy, the blocked cocoa-frontier, the colonial heritage, and the precarious alignment of different interests. Since 2000, the threat of violence has been constantly there, yet nothing is preordained. This book is a model for how to understand a mesmerizing situation without reducing its complexity."--Peter Geschiere, University of Amsterdam
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About Mike McGovern

Mike McGovern is assistant professor of anthropology at Yale University.
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Rating details

24 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 21% (5)
4 42% (10)
3 29% (7)
2 4% (1)
1 4% (1)
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