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PhD defence

Jeunesse comme ressource des conflits violents

  • C.M. Mouguia
Wednesday 22 November 2023
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof.dr. M E. de Bruijn
  • dr. J. Both


The history of the Central African Republic is a succession of violent episodes that persist, despite internal and external attempts to break the almost cyclical pattern of conflict in this territory. Several factors are cited as determining or amplifying the recurrence of violent conflicts in this Central African country, including a disastrous colonial legacy, poor governance, abundant natural resources in an uncontrolled territory that attracts both powerfull and predatory forces, greed for power, the collapse of the State, or a combination of all or some of these factors. However, beyond these factors, the weight of history and the role of young people must be reconsidered as constants of recurrent conflict in the Central African Republic. To better understand this context, we propose the concept of political arena, understood as a permanent situation of confrontation built up over time, and argue that within this context, a large number of young people are growing up, with a limited capacity for action (constrained agency). We conclude that these young people have become a usable resource, exploited in the same way as natural resources. Hence the reproduction and/or continuation of violent and recurrent conflicts in the Central African Republic.
This thesis, which takes advantage of the cross-fertilization of anthropology and history to examine the trajectories of young people, remains a mine of information for social scientists, development and peace-building actors. It establishes that peace interventions in fragile and conflict-ridden countries must necessarily involve young people and the context in which they evolve.

PhD dissertations

Approximately one week after the defence, PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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