Tuesday, 6 February 2018

The Struggling State: Nationalism, Mass Militarization, and the Education of Eritrea

The  Struggling State: Nationalism, Mass Militarization,  and the Education of Eritrea , a book by Jennifer Riggan, 2016

Can be dowloaded here:



"A state like Eritrea that prohibits citizens from leaving, engages in mass round-ups, detains arbitrarily, permanently conscripts a large swathe of its population into the military, and utilizes schools as a conduit for military conscription might seem like a “strong” state in the sense that it has the capacity to implement policies and enact sovereignty over its people. Such a state might not seem to be “struggling,” yet I argue that states in Eritrea and elsewhere struggle in a variety of ways. States struggle to legitimately enact their own nation-building projects. Authoritarianism and state coercion, in particular, reveal weaknesses in the hyphen between nation and state, weaknesses that are present in all states, even those that we might not label as authoritarian or coercive. The case of Eritrea highlights these state struggles in several ways. "

 "In short, the Eritrean state struggled to be legitimate, to produce loyal national subjects, to reproduce and reify itself, and to achieve institutional coherence. These struggles are certainly not unique to Eritrea; indeed, all states struggle to produce these effects. But the conditions in Eritrea produced by mass militarization, the party’s orthodox adherence to its revolutionary nationalist agenda, and the government’s increased reliance on coercion amplify these struggles and expose the paradoxes of state legitimacy and control."
Thanks to Jonathan Miran for sharing the link

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