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  • 1. Christensen, Maya
    et al.
    Utas, Mats
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Conflict, Displacement and Transformation. The Nordic Africa Institute, Urban Dynamics.
    Mercenaries of democracy: The 'Politricks' of remobilized combatants in the 2007 general elections, Sierra Leone2008In: African Affairs, ISSN 0001-9909, E-ISSN 1468-2621, Vol. 107, no 429, p. 515-539Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The 2007 general elections in Sierra Leone marked a decisive moment in the country's post-war recovery. In this article we show how political parties strategically remobilized ex-combatants into 'security squads' in order both to protect themselves and to mobilize votes. We look at the tactical and strategic motives behind ex-combatants' choice to join the political campaigning and the alternatives (such as 'watermelon politics'), and we also examine the deep distrust between politicians and ex-combatants. Focusing on politics as the domestication of violence, we shed light on the continuation of pre-war and war-time mobilization of youth into politics and demonstrate how electoral moments can legitimize violence. In hindsight, the 2007 elections strengthened the democratic process in Sierra Leone, but this article shows on what fragile ground this success was built.

  • 2.
    Eriksson Baaz, Maria
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Conflict, Displacement and Transformation.
    Stern, Maria
    Whores, Men and Other Misfits: Undoing the 'Feminization' of the Armed Forces in the DR Congo2011In: African Affairs, ISSN 0001-9909, E-ISSN 1468-2621, Vol. 110, no 441Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Melber, Henning
    et al.
    The Nordic Africa Institute, Research Unit.
    Kromrey, Daniela
    Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz.
    Welz, Martin
    Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    Changing of the guard?: An anatomy of power within SWAPO of Namibia2017In: African Affairs, ISSN 0001-9909, E-ISSN 1468-2621, Vol. 116, no 463, p. 284-310Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents an anatomy of power relations and policymaking within the ranks of the former liberation movement South West African People's Organization (SWAPO) in Namibia. It summarizes the features of Namibia's dominant party state and argues that Namibia is a case of competitive authoritarian rule. Our analysis documents how the first generation of SWAPO activists, in exile after the early 1960s, has since independence in 1990 remained the most influential segment of the former anti-colonial movement. This continuity is personified in the country's third president, Hage Geingob, and parts of his team in cabinet. Despite some gradual and increasingly visible shifts in the composition of SWAPO MPs, the party's first generation has so far remained largely in control of the country's political affairs. Analysing the background of the ministers serving since independence also shows that a second generation of SWAPO activists, in exile after the mid-1970s, gradually expanded their influence and took over leading positions. Given the dominance of SWAPO and the lack of any meaningful political opposition, a new leadership depends on upward inner-party mobility. Given the limited scope for a younger generation to move into higher offices, the strengthening of democracy through new leadership and innovative thinking is very limited. Rather, politics tends to be reproduced through established networks and bonds with a low degree of permissiveness, which reinforces the nature of the competitive authoritarian regime under the control of ‘old men’.

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