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.
Bjorn Enge Bertelsen is Associate Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen and has undertaken anthropological research in Mozambique since 1998.
List of Illustrations A Note on Language Glossary Note on Anonymity and Fieldwork Abbreviations and Acronyms Key Historical and Contemporary Persons Acknowledgements Maps Introduction Chapter 1. Violence. War, State, and Anthropology in Mozambique Chapter 2. Territory. Spatio-Historical Approaches to State Formation Chapter 3. Spirit. Chiefly Authority, Soil, and Medium Chapter 4. Body. Illness, Memory, and the Dynamics of Healing Chapter 5. Sovereignty. The Mozambican President and the Ordering of Sorcery Chapter 6. Economy. Substance, Production, and Accumulation Chapter 7. Law. Political Authority and Multiple Sovereignties Conclusion: Uncapturability, Dynamics, and Power Bibliography