A recent anthropological literature on arms-carrying and violence has sought to understand these undertakings as modes of labour and work. In contrast, I focus on threats, specifically threats made in conjunction with rebellion in the Central African Republic (CAR). Doing so show what the violence/labour approach has missed. Far from seeking to adapt to the exigencies of flexible, uncertain labour circumstances, these men seek to leverage the interests of international interveners in Central African conflicts and revive a statist, entitlement-centred system in which getting paid indicates status, not work produced. As such, their threats are a critique of their expendability, and a critique of violence, at the same time as they perpetuate the importance of a capacity for violence as a political and personal asset.
New article from Professor Louisa Lombard: “The Threat of Rebellion: Claiming Entitled Personhood in Central Africa”
August 29, 2016