This study examines how political authority is produced in areas of chronic violent conflict and political instability by studying the constitution of basic social contracts and citizenship in North and South Kivu in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). It does so by investigating the social struggles through which political authority over land, people and resources is made and unmade and the forms of social contracts and citizenship, which these processes produce. More specifically it investigates land conflicts in Kalehe territory, and in the city of Bukavu, the provincial capital of South Kivu. It aims to contribute to contemporary discussions on the relationship between natural resource governance, political authority, property rights and citizenship in conflict-affected areas.
This study aims to understand how political authority is produced in eastern DR Congo, which for decades has been marked by chronic conflict and political instability, and the various forms of citizenship and social contracts this engenders.
The research question guiding the project is: How is political authority over land, people and resources produced in eastern DR Congo and what forms of social contracts and citizenship does it engender?
Dr Hoffmann's research focuses on three main issues: The formation of political identities, the production of political authority and territory, and emerging forms of governance in conflict settings. Specifically, he addresses the intersection between the formation of ethnic identities and processes of territorialisation and on emerging forms of rebel and land governance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Myanmar. He is part of the Centre for International Development and Public Authority research programme based at the LSE, which is funded by the UK’s Economic Social Research Council.
He is also affiliated with the University of Copenhagen and Ghent University.
Thumbnail image: © MONUSCO / Abel Kavanagh. Licensed under: (CC BY-SA 2.0)