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African Guerrillas: Raging Against the Machine

Morten Bøås and Kevin C. Dunn, editors
African Guerrillas: Raging Against the Machine
ISBN: 978-1-58826-495-4
ISBN: 978-1-58826-471-8
2007/275 pages/LC: 2007001105

"Greatly contribut[es] to a better understanding of the motives and circumstances behind some of the most brutal and devastating civil wars that continue to ravage the continent."—Guy Martin, African Studies Review

"A fine set of essays and a worthy successor to Clapham's collection.... Highly recommended."—Choice

"This is a major contribution to our understanding of the motives and circumstances behind some of the most brutal civil wars on the continent."—René Lemarchand, University of Florida

"A sophisticated and detailed treatment of contemporary African civil wars that goes well beyond earlier contributions."—M. Crawford Young, University of Wisconsin-Madison


At the center of many of Africa's violent conflicts are movements that do not seem to fit any established theories of armed resistance. African Guerrillas offers new models for understanding these movements, eschewing one-dimensional explanations.

The authors build on—and in some cases debate—insights provided in Christopher Clapham's groundbreaking work. They find a new generation of fighters—one that reflects rage against the machinery of a dysfunctional state. Their analysis of this phenomenon, combining thematic chapters and a range of representative case studies, is a crucial contribution to any effort to understand Africa's war-torn societies.


Morten Bøås is researcher at Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies in Oslo. His recent publications include Global Institutions and Development: Framing the World and New and Critical Security and Regionalism: Beyond the Nation State. Kevin C. Dunn is professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He is author of Imagining the Congo: The International Relations of Identity and coeditor of Identity and Global Politics: Theoretical and Empirical Elaborations.


  • Introduction—the Editors.
  • African Guerrilla Politics: Raging Against the Machine?—the Editors.
  • Marginalized Youth—M. Bøås.
  • Whither the Separatist Motive?—P. Englebert.
  • Liberia: The LURDs of the New Church—W.S. Reno.
  • Côte d'Ivoire: Negotiating Identity and Citizenship—R. Banégas and R. Marshall-Fratani.
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo: Militarized Politics in a "Failed State"—D.M. Tull.
  • Uganda: The Lord's Resistance Army—K.C. Dunn.
  • Sudan: The Janjawiid and Government Militias—Ø.H. Rolandsen.
  • Senegal: The Resilience of Weakness in Casamancais Separatists—V. Foucher.
  • Angola: How to Lose a Guerrilla War—A. Malaquias.
  • African Guerrillas Revisited—C. Clapham.