New Article ‘Non-Violence and Civilian Agency in Communal War: Evidence from Jos, Nigeria’
My article on non-violence and local peacebuilding during ethno-religious conflict in the city of Jos in central Nigeria, published in African Affairs, is now available online before print here.
This article analyses violence and non-violence in two almost contiguous neighbourhoods that share ethnic, religious, and socio-economic similarities. It shows that structural factors such as geography, demography, or intervention by security forces do not predict non-violence. Rather, preventing killings was contingent on civilian agency such as leadership, social control over internal youth, and refusal to collaborate with external armed groups. Drawing on narrative interviews, the article explores motivations for violence prevention and finds that knowledge concerning the organization of violence and lived experience in conflict zones were important factors that gave leaders the ability and confidence to persuade mobilized men not to start killings. The article also discusses the gender dimension of local peace, showing how women and men contributed differently to violence prevention.