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Call: "Rwanda: the trajectory of the state after the genocide"

Call for contribution - Special issue coordinated by Benjamin Chemouni (University of Cambridge)

This special issue aims to provide a better understanding of the trajectory of the Rwandan state since the genocide. It will fill a gap in the francophone literature that has focused mainly on the genocide and its judicial, memorial and diplomatic consequences (Audoin-Rouzeau, Chr├ętien, and Dumas 2011; Dumas 2014; Piton 2018). Few studies have indeed addressed the question of the dynamics of the post-genocide state reconstruction (a notable exception is Kimonyo 2017), a topic much more prevalent in anglophone research. By favouring empirical approaches, the objective is to reflect on the multiplicity of social and political forces at work in the transformation of the state since 1994.

In order to understand the processes that, since 1994, have made the Rwandan state what it is today, it seems particularly fruitful to apply Berman and Lonsdale's distinction between state building and state formation. State-building is a deliberate effort, through public policies and ideology, to create an apparatus of domination, while state formation is "a historical process whose outcome is a largely unconscious and contradictory process of conflicts, negotiations and compromises between diverse groups, whose self-serving actions and trade-offs constitute the 'vulgarisation of power'" (Berman and Lonsdale 1992, 5; in Bayart 1994, 137). In the Rwandan case, this analytical distinction, by drawing attention both to the voluntarist and to the unintentional factors of the state trajectory, is particularly promising in several respects.

Deadline for the submission of proposals: 25 October 2019

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