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Bloody African ‘Development’

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Until recently, theories of war in Africa and other underdeveloped social formations have foundered on notions of ‘poverty=war” and vice versa. Newer thinking, however, asks questions in line with classical Marxist perspectives veering away from dependencia, relating war in the ‘dark continent’ to issues of class formation and (“primitive”) accumulation. Christopher Cramer's Civil War is not a Stupid Thing in particular raises historically and comparatively grounded questions about the relationship between coercion and ‘development’ that challenge both dependency and liberal thinking. Yet, as assessments of contemporary writing on similar issues (including ‘post-conflict studies’) illustrate, the quality of this type of thinking in no way guarantees its intellectual hegemony.
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Keywords: Africa; conflict; development; political economy; primitive accumulation; violence; war

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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