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Marriage, Zoe (2013) Formal Peace and Informal War. Security and Development in Congo. Abingdon: Routledge. (Routledge Explorations in Development Studies)

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In 2002, the Global and All-Inclusive Peace placed a formal peace on the mass of informalised wars that were taking place in Congo. It was promoted by northern donors at a time when security was a key concern for them. How their security interests interact with those of people in Congo can be examined through an investigation two major conflicts: one between the Congolese leadership and the population and the other over control of Congo’s political and economic resources. The investigation reveals an interaction defined by unequal power and divergent interests. Northern development policy incorporated elements of global security and human security. This had dramatic fallout in Congo at a time when official aid was absent from the country. Congolese perspectives on security start from the position of weakness and often inflict further costs in efforts to disrupt or evade threats. Agency and predictability emerge as the means to security, but are disoriented or undermined by the politics of pillage that involve people in their own destruction. As northern donors returned to Congo in 2001 after an absence of several years, their neoliberal ideology, which claimed to bring shared returns, met with profound disruption. This book challenges the asserted commonality inherent to the liberal interventions made by northern donors. The peace in Congo framed the myriad conflicts as a civil war, which legitimised neoliberal state-building programmes which were politically and economically exclusive. Through a rapid and unregulated liberalisation, northern donors implicated themselves in the political bargaining in Congo, leading to the presidential elections in 2011, which confirmed regressive domestic power. In formulating a peace that answers northern security interests, particularly its need to meet the challenge set by Chinese investment in Congo, interventions have subjected the population to control and containment whereas their security rests with power and freedom.

Item Type: Authored Books
Keywords: Congo, DRC, peace process, demobilisation, liberalisation, conflict, Rwanda, DFID, war, democratisation, Kabila, Mobutu
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Development Studies
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
ISBN: 9780415641333
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2012 10:25

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