The old roots of Africa's new wars

TitleThe old roots of Africa's new wars
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsS.D.K. Ellis
Secondary TitleInternationale Politik und Gesellschaft
Pagination29 - 43
Date Published2003///
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAfrica, civil wars, politics

This article offers a historical perspective on the current proliferation of wars in Africa. It first examines the chronology of contemporary wars on the continent and finds that for the most part they began before the end of the Cold War. The intention is not to suggest that nothing has changed in Africa in the 1990s; rather, the point of the argument is to place some of the most striking features of so-called 'new' wars in deeper historical context. The article then looks briefly at some of the salient features of Africa's current generation of wars, It argues that the clientelist politics that has characterized Africa since independence assumes a 'logic of war' once resources become scarce. Popular expectations were geared towards an unprecedented transformation and growth process that turned out to be unsustainable beyond one or two generations. Yet it is difficult to determine under what conditions the politics of frustration degenerate into war. Ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]

Citation Key1812