AbstractThrough the ethnographic lens of so-called gangs and anti-gangs, this doctoral thesis investigates the politics of everyday policing in the conflict-affected city of Goma (Democratic Republic of Congo) and the distinct style of street authority it produces. The gangs and anti-gangs focused upon in this doctoral study are marginalised youths from Goma’s popular neighbourhoods, who see it as their mission to protect the cities’ inhabitants from the everyday “crime” and violence committed by maibobo (street children) and other gangs. To understand how gangs and anti-gangs carve out a political space for themselves within Goma’s broader policing environment, and impose themselves as street authorities, I draw from three main theoretical concepts: liminality, performance and the political imagination. The doctoral thesis is situated in bodies of literature around urban violence and (in)security, conflict studies, vigilantism and civilian policing groups, governance, and the exercise of public authority. Methodologically, besides the main method of ethnography, this PhD relies also on visual methodologies – in particular a collaborative filmmaking methodology that was developed during the course of the research.
Afrika Focus – Brill
Published: Jun 9, 2021