Myths set in motion: The moral economy of mai mai governance
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Book chapter › Research › peer-review
Rebels may set myths into motion when they govern civilians. Rebels who want to overturn the socio-political order often incorporate its values, beliefs, representations, and practices into their governance of civilians. In doing so they govern through some of the myths underpinning that order. Many of these operate on an unreflective level among both rebels and local residents. Deploying these enables rebels to cultivate legitimacy among civilians whose support they solicit. But the novelty of rule by rebels is that it recasts existing values and beliefs into new political narratives that shape rebel governance profoundly. Drawing on a mixture of nationalist, pre-colonial, and Christian values and beliefs, General Padiri's Mai Mai militia group from South Kivu in eastern Congo produced a mythical narrative, forged around divine authority and the bipolar relation between autochthony and foreignness. This syncretic mythical narrative resonated deeply within the local society. It endowed Padiri with charismatic authority and enabled a highly centralized, authoritarian, and coercive form of rebel governance.
|Title of host publication||Rebel Governance in Civil War|
|Editors||Ana Arjona, Nelson Kasfir, Zachariah Mampilly|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|