Mozambique has echoed developments in other sub-Saharan countries by recently 'recognizing' its traditional authorities and extending their powers. Some celebrate this as 'legal pluralism' and what Boaventura de Sousa Santos calls a 'heterogeneous state'. I question such assessments on the basis of case material collected in Chimoio, Mozambique, from 2007 to 2008. The two cases presented here explore the 2008 spate of the burning of alleged thieves and an individual's search for protection in a poor neighborhood. Overall, the article aims to suggest a reformulation of some political and legal anthropology developed in the context of Africa and, especially, to avoid some of the universalizing typologies and individuating features of such anthropology.
A Critique of Some Legal Anthropological Terms
Bjørn Enge Bertelsen
Racialized Pacification and Police Moralism from Rio's Favelas to Bolsonaro
Tomas Salem and Bjørn Enge Bertelsen
The Pacifying Police Units, rolled out in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, were part of a police intervention conceived to end the logic of war that characterized the city's public security policies. As such, it adopted “soft” strategies of policing aimed at reducing violence and asserting state sovereignty in “pacified” favelas. Drawing on a postcolonial framework of analysis, we argue that these favelas can be understood as sites for experiments in imperial statecraft, where a new set of socio-moral relations that we call police moralism were inscribed onto spaces and bodies. Pacification, in this context, means the reassertion of Brazil's historical racial order. In our conclusion, we read the moral order implemented in the favelas as a prefiguration of President Jair Bolsonaro's right-wing authoritarianism on a national scale.
Perspectives on the rise of the far-right and right-wing populism in the West
Sindre Bangstad, Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, and Heiko Henkel
This article is based on the transcript of a roundtable on the rise of the far-right and right-wing populism held at the AAA Annual Meeting in 2017. The contributors explore this rise in the context of the role of affect in politics, rising socio-economic inequalities, racism and neoliberalism, and with reference to their own ethnographic research on these phenomena in Germany, Poland, Italy, France, the UK and Hungary.