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  • SEGATTI Aurelia (3)
  • BEKKER Simon (2)
  • BERG Julie (1)
  • WILLIAMS Michellene (1)
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  • Article (15)
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in To be at Home. House, Work, and Self in the Modern World Publication date 2019-03
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[Book abstract] Houses and homes are dynamic spaces within which people work to organize and secure their lives, livelihoods and relationships. Written by a team of renowned historians and anthropologists, and and accompanied by original photography by Maurice Weiss, To Be at Home: House,Work, and Self in the Modern World compares the ways people in different societies and historical periods strive to make and keep houses and homes under conditions of change, upheaval, displacement, impoverishment and violence. These conditions speak to the challenges of life in our modern world. The contributors of this volume position the home as a new nodal point between work, the self and the world to explore people’s creativity, agency and labour. Houses and homes prove complex and powerful concepts – if also often elusive – invoking places, persons, objects, emotions, values, attachments and fantasies. This book demonstrates how the relations between houses, work and the self have transformed dramatically and unpredictably under conditions of capitalism and modernity – and continue to change today.

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Dans la seconde moitié des années 1930, l’Afrique du Sud adopta une nouvelle loi sur l’enfance qui visait à réhabiliter davantage qu’à punir les enfants. Cet article s’interroge sur le rôle de nouveaux cercles d’experts dans la fabrique de cette loi et sur les effets de son application sur la différenciation sociale et raciale des enfants. Il analyse le sens du changement d’une action publique initialement libérale dans un contexte dominé par une discrimination raciale croissante. Alors que la loi créa les conditions pour une intervention plus systématique de l’État dans la vie des familles pauvres, les gouvernements successifs favorisèrent une individualisation des traitements pour les enfants blancs et une collectivisation de la sanction pour la majorité noire. Ce changement fut consolidé sous l’apartheid par un dispositif disciplinaire coercitif et par le triomphe d’une version localisée de la théorie de la désorganisation sociale de l’École de Chicago. Il contribua largement à la banalisation de l’usage de la violence chez les enfants noirs en les socialisant aux dures conditions de l’univers carcéral ou semi-carcéral des institutions de protection de l’enfance.

Surveiller et sécuriser son quartier est une pratique ancienne en Afrique du Sud, qui témoigne d’une insécurité diffuse liée à la forte prévalence de la violence en milieu urbain depuis la période coloniale. Ce dynamisme des pratiques citoyennes de maintien de l’ordre se reflète dans la littérature, désormais foisonnante, consacrée au vigilantisme en Afrique du Sud. Trop souvent, les groupes de vigilantes y apparaissent cependant unifiés et homogènes. À partir de deux récits de vie et d’une enquête ethnographique et historique dans les quartiers périphériques du Cap, on a ici adopté une perspective différente, en insistant sur deux points encore peu explorés dans la littérature sur le vigilantisme : sa féminisation et sa dimension biographique. Pour les femmes engagées sur le long terme dans ces groupes, le bénévolat, la professionnalisation et le désengagement sont les étapes de carrières morales qui révèlent de grandes vulnérabilités individuelles : personnelles, familiales et professionnelles. Ces engagements sécuritaires au long cours soulignent en même temps le rôle déterminant du financement des initiatives citoyennes dans le domaine du maintien de l’ordre, et par là même celui de l’État dans un contexte de paupérisation et de massification du chômage.

in Journal of African History Publication date 2003-10-01
FOURCHARD Laurent
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A partir de sources orales et d'archives foncières, fiscales et administratives, cet essai sur la propriété africaine rend compte des pratiques foncières, résidentielles et sociales d'un groupe de commerçants africains qui investirent, durant la période coloniale, les quartiers européens de Ouagadougou et de Bobo-Dioulasso en Haute-Volta. La comparaison de ces villes inégalement insérées dans les circuits de l'économie coloniale renseigne sur les marges de manœuvre de ces commerçants, et notamment de leurs aptitudes à jouer des différentes réglementations foncières alors en vigueur. Au-delà des comportements collectifs qui révèlent généralement un double investissement résidentiel (centre européen/quartiers africains), les stratégies individuelles témoignent des liens fréquents entre l'assise foncière des propriétaires, leur envergure sociale et leur rôle politico-administratif.

Taking account of the myriad of policing initiatives that have emerged both from the grassroots and from the state in post-apartheid South Africa, this article investigates the politics of mobilization for security. Focusing on the coloured townships of the Western Cape, it argues that there is no clear distinction between vigilantism and community policing, but that they are best understood as two sides of the same process of mobilization for security. The provision of security in poor neighbourhoods is an important resource in the struggle for political support, and the article argues that the willingness of government to ban vigilante organizations is not simply a reaction to their supposed violence, but also a way of defeating political opponents. By the same token, community policing initiatives are established both to reassert the authority of the state over communities that are supposed to be prone to vigilantism and to promote a specific political party agenda. The article concludes that rather than posing a threat to state sovereignty, local mobilization for security in South Africa can be seen as part of a dynamic process of state formation.

in Power and powerless. Capital cities in Africa Publication date 2012
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At the end of the 18th century, Lagos became the first slavery port in West Africa. From the 19th century onwards, like many other port cities in Africa, it was increasingly involved in the circulation of people, goods, ideas and technologies. By the 20th century, Lagos had become the main port of the most populous African country and was the federal capital of Nigeria from 1914 to 1991. Today, the city of Lagos boasts a concentration of capital assets, trading companies and public investments, a large bureaucracy and a transnational political, intellectual and religious elite. Since the 19th century, in fact, Lagos has been at the forefront of new cultural and social practices in Nigeria, despite Abuja (the new federal capital since 1991) and Port Harcourt (the oil capital in the Niger Delta) having recently acquired increasing influence...

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The dramatic urban change taking place on the African continent has led to a renewed and controversial interest in Africa’s cities within several academic and expert circles. Attempts to align a growing but fragmented body of research on Africa’s urban past with more general trends in urban studies have been few but have nevertheless opened up new analytical possibilities. This article argues that to move beyond the traps of localism and unhelpful categorizations that have dominated aspects of urban history and the urban studies literature of the continent, historians should explore African urban dynamics in relation to world history and the history of the state in order to contribute to larger debates between social scientists and urban theorists. By considering how global socio-historical processes articulate with the everyday lives of urban dwellers and how city-state relationships are structured by ambivalence, this article will illustrate how historians can participate in those debates in ways that demonstrate that history matters, but not in a linear way. These illustrations will also suggest why it is necessary for historians to contest interpretations of Africa’s cities that construe them as ontologically different from other cities of the world.

Recent literature on the continent has focused attention on the increasing number of forms of belonging using different labels: autochthony, nativism, indigeneity, ethnicity, and in some cases xenophobia. The latter term generally refers to discourses and practices that are discriminatory towards foreign nationals, but Wimmer (1997) also sheds light on the existence of deeper political struggles for the collective goods of the state and the building of structures of legitimacy in accessing those goods. In many instances, those structures are based on collective identities and real or fantasized notions of national community (Wimmer 1997: 32). In the African contexts, decolonization struggles have specifically shaped the type of nation-building enterprises that have emerged in the postcolonial period (Chipkin 2007). Taking into consideration both this broader theoretical dimension and the specific historical trajectories of nationalist discourses in the African contexts, our understanding of xenophobia as discussed in this issue consists of the systematic situated (in one institution) or cross-cutting construction that sees strangers as a threat to society, justifying their exclusion and, at times, their suppression...

in Politique africaine Publication date 2007-06-21
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De nombreuses analyses ont associé le retour d'un régime civil au Nigeria en 1999 au développement d'organisations armées privées et au regain de conflits dits religieux, inter-ethniques ou communautaires. L'application controversée de la charia dans douze Etats du nord et les actions de guérilla dans la région pétrolière du delta ont ainsi largement focalisé l'attention des médias. Le retour de la " démocratie " témoignerait-t-il d'un déclin de l'Etat ? Ces violences sont-elles marginales ou centrales dans le fonctionnement du jeu politique au Nigeria ? Ce dossier souhaiterait revenir sur ces questionnements en resituant les deux mandats du président Obasanjo (1999-2007) dans une séquence chronologique plus longue, celle de la double trajectoire de l'Etat fédéral et des mouvements locaux et régionaux, qui, n'ont cessé de réclamer, par les armes et par la négociation, à la fois plus d'autonomie et une meilleure redistribution de la rente nationale.

Sous la direction de FOURCHARD Laurent, BEKKER Simon Publication date 2013
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Studies of government and politics in Africa are dominated by a focus on the national and are typically set apart by anglophone, francophone and lusophone historical influences, with South Africa as an exception. This volume departs from a different set of questions and employs a novel approach in discussing them: cities in sub-Saharan Africa provide the pivot around which issues of policy and practice, planning and service delivery turn, at different scales and both from the top down as well as from the bottom up. Party politics, for example, is discussed at city level and urban security both within a state and a non-state context. The novelty of the approach is found in thematic rather than single-city chapters written by multiple authors each of whom displays depth knowledge of one of three or more cities treated in each case. This volume will interest scholars of African and of urban studies as well as urban policy-makers and practitioners. (Publisher's abstract)

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