The disconcerting popularity of popular in/justice in the Fizi/Uvira region, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Verweijen, Judith (2015) The disconcerting popularity of popular in/justice in the Fizi/Uvira region, Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. International Journal of Minority and Group Rights, 22 (3). pp. 335-359. ISSN 1385-4879

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Abstract

This article analyses the disconcerting phenomenon of ‘popular in/justice’, or killings of citizens enacted by other citizens ‘in the name of justice’. It studies these practices in the Fizi/Uvira region in the conflict-ridden eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where they target either suspected criminals or presumed sorcerers. The article locates the causes for this phenomenon in certain transformations of socio-political space, notably the unsettling of customary and politico-administrative authority, dysfunctional state-led justice and security services, and the militarisation of local governance. These developments have compounded dispute processing and handling the occult, leading these processes to often turn violent. They also incentivise and enable politically and socio-economically marginalised yet demographically numerous groups to assert socio-political agency and engage in order-making. The article concludes by arguing that popular in/justice should be seen as an expression of such aspirations to exercise efficacious socio-political agency, thereby constituting a perverse form of democratisation.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Judith Verweijen
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2018 14:36
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 14:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/79006

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