Beyond the 'Crisis of Youth'? Mining, farming, and civil society in post-war Sierra Leone

Beyond the 'Crisis of Youth'? Mining, farming, and civil society in post-war Sierra Leone

Author: 
Fanthorpe , Richard
Place: 
New York
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Date published: 
2010
Record type: 
Responsibility: 
Maconachie, Roy Jt. Author
Journal Title: 
African Affairs
Source: 
African Affairs, Vol. 109, Issue 435, April 2010, pp.251-272
ISSN: 
0001-9909
Abstract: 

Sierra Leone?s conflict has often been characterized as a ?crisis of youth?. For some, the post-war resurgence of grassroots associational life represents the unleashing of long-suppressed youth egalitarianism, yet this analysis tends to ignore the role of international aid in providing an economic incentive for impoverished Sierra Leoneans to embrace formal association. Case study evidence also shows that politics of ?community? identification and moral economies of patronage continue to affect post-war aid. Evidence of post-war social change can nevertheless be found outside the development sector. Diamond mining has long served as a driver of cultural modernization in Sierra Leone and detailed examination of post-war associational life in Kono District reveals that new foci and techniques of social activism have emerged since the end of the civil war. The decline of artisanal mining, with the expansion of large-scale industrial mining, and renewed interest in farming are driving a parallel resurgence of associational life in rural areas. Given that most Sierra Leoneans continue to depend on farming, this rural resurgence could yet represent the most durable basis for democratic change in Sierra Leone.

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CITATION: Fanthorpe , Richard. Beyond the 'Crisis of Youth'? Mining, farming, and civil society in post-war Sierra Leone . New York : Oxford University Press (OUP) , 2010. African Affairs, Vol. 109, Issue 435, April 2010, pp.251-272 - Available at: http://library.au.int/beyond-crisis-youth-mining-farming-and-civil-society-post-war-sierra-leone-4