Department of Social Anthropology

NEW BOOK: Violent Becomings: State Formation, Sociality, and Power in Mozambique

Associate Professor Bjørn Enge Bertelsen published a new book.

Forsiden på den nye boken til Bjørn Enge Bertelsen "Violent Becomongs"
Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

Main content

Violent Becomings conceptualizes the Mozambican state not as the bureaucratically ordered polity of the nation-state, but as a continuously emergent and violently challenged mode of ordering. In doing so, this book addresses the question of why colonial and postcolonial state formation has involved violent articulations with so-called ‘traditional’ forms of sociality. The scope and dynamic nature of such violent becomings is explored through an array of contexts that include colonial regimes of forced labor and pacification, liberation war struggles and civil war, the social engineering of the post-independence state, and the popular appropriation of sovereign violence in riots and lynchings.

This is a valuable contribution to the literatures on African political history at both the macro and micro scales… It represents what many Africanist anthropologists today hope to achieve – a monograph that is both ethnographically rich and theoretically engaged. - Danny Hoffman, University of Washington

Violent Becomings carries us into the fascinating interfaces between Mozambican sovereignty, power, economy and culture, in ways that will have implications for many other accounts of postcolonial statehood. - James D. Sidaway, National University of Singapore

The book is available in normal book format, kindleformat and as an Open Access-book.

Bjørn Enge Bertelsen is Associate Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen and has undertaken anthropological research in Mozambique since 1998.