Following the 1994 genocide, the government of Rwanda embarked on a “deethnicization” campaign to outlaw Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa labels and replace them with a pan-Rwandan national identity. Since then, to use ethnic labels means risking accusations of “divisionism” or perpetuating ethnic schisms. Based on one year of ethnographic fieldwork in the university town of Butare, I argue that the absence of ethnic labels produces practical interpretive problems for Rwandans because of the excess of possible ways of interpreting what people mean when they evaluate each other's conduct in everyday talk. I trace the historical entanglement of ethnicity with class, rural/urban, occupational, and moral distinctions such that the content of ethnic stereotypes can be evoked even without ethnic labels. In so doing, I aim to enrich understandings of both the power and danger inherent in the ambiguous place of ethnicity in Rwanda's “postethnic” moment.
Ethnicity without labels?
Ambiguity and excess in “postethnic” Rwanda
What Can a Political Form of Reconciliation Look Like in Divided Societies?
The Deliberative “Right to Justification” and Agonistic Democracy
models are applicable in the context of postconflict societies. To marry elements of both models, I explore how the deliberative “right to justification,” set out by critical theorist Rainer Forst (2014) , can be put to work in a politics of
Language and a Continent in Flux
Twenty-First Century Tensions of Inclusion and Exclusion
Philip McDermott and Sarah McMonagle
of political discourses on language in a supposedly postconflict society. She details the extent of linguistic diversity in the region of Northern Ireland, how this does not fully correspond to the competing narratives of national belonging that
Children Born of War
A European Research Network Exploring the Life Histories of a Hidden Population
Kimberley Anderson and Sophie Roupetz
a basis to inform the normative debates and, ultimately, policies on the reintegration of children born of war into postconflict societies. By combining historical, social, psychiatric, political, and public health research with the discourse