The civil wars of the 20th and 21st century: Global war as seen from Mozambique
Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, professor in Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen will hold a lecture titled
"The civil wars of the 20th and 21st century: Global war as seen from Mozambique"
What one can label the civil wars of the 20th and 21st century in Mozambique – with particular periods of intensity from 1976 to 1992 and from 2013 until the present– have profoundly shaped the post-independence era in terms of socio-economic trajectories, political subjectivities, troubling legacies and memories, regional divisions, and much more. What can such a protracted period of recurring instances of civil war learn us about war in general – at a global level? How can the harrowing experiences of violence and suffering instantiated on Mozambican soil inform our comprehension of war in a global age of permanent violent clashes, of omnipresent militarism and of an increasingly belligerent state form?
Rather than insularizing or exceptionalizing the Mozambican civil wars – by way of emphasising local and purely national dynamics or by way of labelling or typologizing these in terms of macroeconomic or political schemata conforming to certain preconceived ideas of wars and unrest in the global South – I will in this presentation attempt to draw on my own ethnographic material from Manica province as well as other analyses to answer such questions. The overall aim of the presentation will then be to use the available material on the civil wars in Mozambique as a prism for analysing, understanding and redefining the nature of contemporary global war and political-military dynamics more generally.
The lecture is part of the research seminar in social anthropology.