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Central Africa: ressources and armed conflicts

Centrafrique / Afrique centrale : ressources et conflits armés

Cahiers d’Outre-Mer journal

Revue « Cahiers d’Outre-Mer »

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Published on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

This issue of Cahiers d’Outre-Mer will explore the mutual impacts of resources and armed conflicts in CAR from a political point of view.  Neither the resources nor their greater or lesser availability constitute, by itself, a sufficient condition to explain the outbreak or continuation of conflicts. Resources, because they impact the balance of powers, are an aspect of armed conflicts, which can be defined as antagonisms between social groups using weapons to prevail over each other. This issue aims at identifying mutual impacts of conflicts and resources in CAR with three possible lines of inquiry: Resources and trajectories of political organizations ; Uses of resources and conflict ; Reconfigurations of resources within conflicts.

Announcement

Argument

Since the 1990s, scarcity or abundance of resources is often shown as the main cause of conflicts around the world. Environmental crises, climate change fallouts and population growth are fueling neo-Malthusian theories, which interpret conflicts as the result of an overflow of people combined with scarce resources. According to other authors, along the lines of the "resource curse" theory, it is rather the rife resources, combined with armed groups’ widespread greed that fosters the emergence and long duration of conflicts.

This issue of Cahiers d’Outre-Mer will explore the mutual impacts of resources and armed conflicts in CAR from a political point of view.  Neither the resources nor their greater or lesser availability constitute, by itself, a sufficient condition to explain the outbreak or continuation of conflicts. Resources, because they impact the balance of powers, are an aspect of armed conflicts, which can be defined as antagonisms between social groups using weapons to prevail over each other.

The word "resources" should be considered in a broad sense, referring to both natural materials used by humans (land, wood, agriculture, livestock, water, ore, oil), public and private properties, international capitals (investment, development aid and humanitarian assistance),  even people themselves (as a labor force, marital subjects, etc.) and the underlying symbolic dimensions (heritage, wildlife conservation etc.). Authors can address various types of violence, more or less linked to conflicts (banditry, raids, etc.), and can extend their analysis with before and after-conflict approaches. If the study focuses first and foremost on the Central African Republic, multi-scale analysis and contributions on local, regional and macro-regional dynamics are welcome.

This issue aims at identifying mutual impacts of conflicts and resources in CAR with three possible lines of inquiry:

Resources and trajectories of political organizations. 

Is the extortion of resources led by armed groups the consequence of political organizations’ weakness (lack of protection, violence as a way to levy taxes without a formal coercive system)? Or is violent extortion a form of government, that must be analyzed as a continuation of the state rents’ misappropriation for personal enrichment and cronyism? Contributions may include studies of the conflict’s impacts on resource management in political organizations, at various levels (State, local organization, armed group, ‘traditional’ powers, etc.).

Uses of resources and conflict. 

How conflicts to control and use soil and subsoil resources (the latest being widespread at the local level when in peace), are connected with armed antagonisms between larger-scale rebellions and central government?  Are the so-called "peace resources" (humanitarian and post-conflict assistances, DDR, etc.) used to resolve conflicts or do they fuel, in return, their extension? How resource distribution (centralized/diffused), their anchored or mobile nature and their uses influence the nature of armed groups and spatial form of violence?

Reconfigurations of resources within conflicts. 

What reconfigurations are caused by conflicts in areas of production, processing, circulation, conservation, resources consumption? How do actors adapt to these?  To what extent these reconfigurations influence appropriations, boundaries and representations of political spaces?

Submission guidelines

ŸDeadline for submission: December 15, 2015

ŸDo not exceed 10,000 words, including footnotes and references.

ŸYour submission must include: your name, institution, postal address, email

ŸEmail subject format: COM, date (month+day), your last name (in caps), title of your essay

ŸSend as .doc or .docx

ŸAll manuscripts should be submitted via email attachment to: 

cahiers.outremer.centrafrique@gmail.com (Emmanuel Chauvin, Benoît Lallau, Géraud Magrin)

Editors

  • Emmanuel Chauvin, Geographer (Docteur, ATER), Université d’Orléans, UMR PRODIG
  • Benoît Lallau, Economist (Maître de conférences HDR), Université de Lille 1, UMR CLERSE
  • Géraud Magrin, Geographer (Professeur des Universités), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, UMR PRODIG

Date(s)

  • Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Keywords

  • Centrafrique, ressource, conflit, géographie politique

Contact(s)

  • Christine Cazenave
    courriel : c [dot] cazenave [at] sciencespobordeaux [dot] fr
  • Emmanuel Chauvin
    courriel : chauvinemmanuel [at] yahoo [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Christine Cazenave
    courriel : c [dot] cazenave [at] sciencespobordeaux [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Central Africa: ressources and armed conflicts », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, https://calenda.org/340825

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