PhD defence Crépin Marius Mouguia

On 22 November at 3 p.m. (sharp), Crépin Marius Mouguia (Université de Bangui/Leiden University) will defend his dissertation Jeunesse comme ressource des conflits violents : une lecture historique et anthropologique de l’arène politique en République centrafricaine.

The history of the Central African Republic is a succession of violent episodes that persist, despite internal and external attempts to break the almost cyclical pattern of conflict in this territory. Several factors are cited as determining or amplifying the recurrence of violent conflicts in this Central African country, including a disastrous colonial legacy, poor governance, abundant natural resources in an uncontrolled territory that attracts both powerful and predatory forces, greed for power, the collapse of the State, or a combination of all or some of these factors. However, beyond these factors, the weight of history and the role of young people must be reconsidered as constants of recurrent conflict in the Central African Republic. To better understand this context, we propose the concept of political arena, understood as a permanent situation of confrontation built up over time, and argue that within this context, a large number of young people are growing up, with a limited capacity for action (constrained agency). We conclude that these young people have become a usable resource, exploited in the same way as natural resources. Hence the reproduction and/or continuation of violent and recurrent conflicts in the Central African Republic.

This thesis, which takes advantage of the cross-fertilisation of anthropology and history to examine the trajectories of young people, remains a mine of information for social scientists, development and peace-building actors. It establishes that peace interventions in fragile and conflict-ridden countries must necessarily involve young people and the context in which they evolve.

Registration is not required. Please note that admittance to the room after 3 p.m. is not possible.

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Date, time and location

22 November 2023
15.00 - 16.00
Academy Building, Rapenburg 73 Leiden
Room to be announced