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Marta Iñiguez de Heredia

5 Everyday violence and Mai Mai militias in Eastern DRC What would you do if the state was a man? I’ll kill him.1 A From words to weapons lthough there were skirmishes, especially throughout the 1990s, Chapter 3 has already exposed how the first phase of the conflict was the defining moment in which the armed mobilisation of subordinate classes took place. The fact that the AFDL war was conducted under the guise of a national liberation movement and led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila succeeded in reviving the Mai Mai historical sentiment of fighting against

in Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making
Insights from 'Africa's World War'

Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making addresses debates on liberal peace and the policies of peacebuilding through a theoretical and empirical study of resistance in peacebuilding contexts. Examining the case of ‘Africa’s World War’ in the DRC, it locates resistance in the experiences of war, peacebuilding and state-making by exploring discourses, violence and everyday forms of survival as acts that attempt to challenge or mitigate such experiences. The analysis of resistance offers a possibility to bring the historical and sociological aspects of both peacebuilding and the case of the DRC, providing new nuanced understanding of these processes and the particular case.

Marta Iñiguez de Heredia

3 The history and present of ‘Africa’s World War’ S The ‘failure’ of the DRC and the militarisation of peace peaking in 2010 of the International Security and Stabilisation Support Strategy (ISSSS) for the DRC, a MONUSCO officer argued that the escalation of violence in the Kivus over the last few years was caused by the DRC state being ‘inexistent’ (MONUSCO – ISSSS/STAREC liaison officer 2010). For this MONUSCO representative, some functions of the state did not work properly. So the task of international actors was to operationalise the state towards making

in Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making
Marta Iñiguez de Heredia

conflict studies. The turn to hybridity 179 Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making has included a focus on resistance and provided a more grounded critique of peacebuilding. But resistance remains under-theorised, given how subjects and their aims are left undefined. The everyday framework of James Scott and Michel de Certeau that this book has drawn on places the agency of resistance on subordinated subjects, on patterns in power relations and on different types of acts that are context specific. In the militarised and complex context of the DRC, practices

in Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making
Marta Iñiguez de Heredia

depathologise ‘failed’ states. The chapter starts with a discussion of Weberian historical sociology in order to analyse not only coercion, extraction and claims to legitimacy as constitutive practices of states, but also how informal and plural forms of governance do not make the DRC pathological; in fact, they characterise the nature of peacebuilding as a plural and improvised form of ruling. This is illustrated with some empirical examples in the fourth section of the chapter. Before that, a third section analyses both Africa’s normality and exceptionalism. It first

in Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making
Marta Iñiguez de Heredia

and religious equipment. (Scott 1985: 331) A Statebuilders and state-recipients, a pose uthority is generally claimed with an underlying morality. Peacebuilding, and the reconstruction of state authority, is deployed as the best solution to the problems of war, authoritarianism and poverty (Chandler 2010a: 1). In Eastern DRC this authority claim has materialised as a discourse of protection and social change. Against this discursive construction, mockery, denigration and slandering operate as an intentional mechanism to deny the legitimacy and authority of

in Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making
Open Access (free)
Resistance and the liberal peace: a missing link
Marta Iñiguez de Heredia

before; but they continue because we need a political negotiation, a land reform, jobs and a real democracy where people can participate and not just be put in jail. (Union Paysanne pour le Développement Intégral Representative 2014) T hese statements reflect some important sentiments of those who have experienced war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes since the 1990s.1 They imply an interpretation of the conflict as stemming from several overlapping economic and political issues that cannot be reduced to a military issue, a problem of

in Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making
Marta Iñiguez de Heredia

6 Creative survival as subversion I Solidarities and creative tactics against ‘conditions of death’1 n the DRC, the exercise and consolidation of state authority does not necessarily imply social transformation or a real commitment of the state to impose itself but, rather, the management of state absences and state presences through a plurality of authorities. Still, the patterns of coercion and extraction that have followed from the 20 years of conflict, with the different state-making and peacebuilding processes, determine the conditions for the

in Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making
A view from below
Marta Iñiguez de Heredia

motivated by the desire to avoid, tame or challenge domination? The everyday framework of resistance does not offer a measuring tape to ascertain unambiguously which acts constitute resistance and which ones do not. It offers a framework to understand patterns of actions in a particular relationship. In the next chapter, it will be shown that the case of the Great Lakes region, and the DRC in particular, provides a possibility for examining both generalities and particularities, making it suitable to exploring the framework of everyday resistance in a peacebuilding

in Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making