Soldiers at Peace: Veterans of the Civil War in Mozambique

Overview

This is the first scholarly study of soldiers and guerrillas demobilized after the civil war in Mozambique (1979-1992). Based on extensive field-work with former combatants from both sides of the civil war in Mozambique and the communities in which they have settled, this takes a critical and empirical look at prevailing stereotypes about this extremely influential, yet poorly researched, social group in war-torn societies throughout Africa and worldwide. Jessica Schafer advances a wholesale re-evaluation of ...

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Overview

This is the first scholarly study of soldiers and guerrillas demobilized after the civil war in Mozambique (1979-1992). Based on extensive field-work with former combatants from both sides of the civil war in Mozambique and the communities in which they have settled, this takes a critical and empirical look at prevailing stereotypes about this extremely influential, yet poorly researched, social group in war-torn societies throughout Africa and worldwide. Jessica Schafer advances a wholesale re-evaluation of their roles and impact on post-war society. Combatants are "humanized" by examining, rather than assuming, the way war experiences shaped them both as social beings and as political actors. Schafer presents evidence of striking similarities between the social and political discourses of veterans from a wide range of war and post-war contexts, and makes a strong case for a comparative approach to studying veterans rather than the "new war" theories that have become popular in recent scholarly and media analyses.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book makes a very important contribution for scholars and policy-makers concerned with the dynamics of warfare, post-conflict transitions, and governance throughout the developing world."
—Stephen Lubkemann, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, The George Washington University
"The notion of new wars, fought by drug-crazed young combatants driven by opportunist greed, has grabbed the attention of jourbanalists, politicians and some academics. Africa, in particular, has been seen as the 'home' of such violence. Focusing on Mozambique, this book offers a much-needed antidote. It is a balanced, carefully-researched assessment of combatants in the Mozambique war, how and why they fought, and what they have contributed to the remaking of post-war society. This fine study conveys the important message that it is a fatal mistake to strip war of its social content. Its implications have wide significance and application."
—Paul Richards, author of Fighting for the Rain-Forest: War, Youth, and Resources in Sierra Leone
"Jessica Schafer explores the experience of soldiers after the long liberation struggle and civil war in Mozambique, and shows why this experience has been different. She is a brilliant fieldworker in a difficult context, and her interviews enable her to paint a vivid picture of the lives of ordinary soldiers both during the war and after. This is an excellent volume—theoretically informed, densely researched, sympathetically written, and full of comparative interest."
—William Beinart, Professor of Race Relations, and Chair, School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403975034
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 7/28/2007
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Jessica Schafer is an Assistant Professor in the International Development and Globalization Program at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include post-war societies, environmental history, and community and international development. She has published articles in African Affairs, African Studies Review, and the Jourbanal of Southern African Studies, amongst others.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
• Centers and Peripheries: Patterns of War
PART I: WAR AND RESOCIALIZATION * Violence on the Periphery: Renamo Combatants, Civilians, and War * Violence at the Center: Frelimo Combatants, Civilians, and War * PART II: THE RETURN TO CIVILIAN LIFE * An Incomplete Rupture: Post-war Settlement and Livelihoods
• Veterans' Politics from Above
• Veterans' Politics from Below
• Concluding Remarks

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