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Trapido, Joe (2021) '‘Masterless Men’; Riots, Patronage and the Politics of the Surplus Population in Kinshasa.' Current Anthropology, 62 (2). pp. 198-217.

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On the basis of fieldwork in Kinshasa, this essay makes a link between riots, the recent anthropology of “surplus populations,” and distributive politics in low-income countries, especially Africa. Tracing the history of a political demonstration turned riot, it shows how distribution structures the interactions between rich and poor in the city. Situating the riot in a context in which subjects are dependent on the market for goods but are not able to sell their labor, the essay shows the riot to be a rational intervention in a place where elites do not see popular support as especially important and where occupying space and controlling circulation and distribution are the primary political-economic imperatives.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: DRC, Riots, Surplus populations, political anthropology.
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Anthropology & Sociology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
ISSN: 00113204
Copyright Statement: This is the version of the article/chapter accepted for publication in Current Anthropology, 62 (2). pp. 198-217 published by the University of Chicago Press. Re-use is subject to the publisher’s terms and conditions
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2019 07:55
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, British Academy

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