Kings or Presidents?

War and the State in Pre- and Post-Genocidal Rwanda

in Social Analysis

For theorists of the state and war inspired by Michel Foucault, the central issue is power. For Foucault there is no individual subject constructed in the absence of power, and no social institution that does not bear the imprint of historical struggles over power (Foucault 1979). With power so pervasively infusing human experience, there appears to be little need of talking about anything else. Power is everywhere. History is the chronicle of the struggle for power among individuals and groups. Taken to its logical conclusion, this perspective on human social life ends up sounding very much like the Hobbesian “war of each against all” (cf. Sahlins 2000).