Rolf Scott

How does the state of Mozambique configure it self in relationship to the people defined within its borders? This is an Issue, Bjørn Bertelsen of the Egalitarianism group, addresses in his new book Violent Becoming’s. State Formation, Sociality, and Power in Mozambique, published by Berghahn books.

Bertelsen looks at the overall function of the state as one that is continuously emerging through forms of power and control emphasized in violent interactions with what is conceptualized as “traditional” albeit experimental forms of sociality. As such, the text also describes ways in which the State, suppresses egalitarian uprising. Bertelsen addresses these issues from a range of different approaches, highlighted in the different chapters.

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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

The book is available as a printed version but can also be downloaded for free as an open access publication. This has made the text highly available for the academic milieus in Mozambique, as well as others individuals or institutions and in particular outside of the Western hemispheres, where budget for expensive low volume books, are often limited.

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