The theoretical landscape is changing too fast as to, once again, leave behind a bunch of the countries. This is a serious threat, given that, in spite of recent setbacks, methodological nationalism is still a powerful driving force behind knowledge production.
One such theoretical space is the place of the human body as a site of struggle, with diverse outcomes. In the age in which terrorism has held sway, theorising the body has become relevant. It is the body that gets arrested or abducted or detained or bombed to death or raped.
There is thus something significant in scholarly consistency in cutting through the theories, discourses, arguments, policy practices and what have you by which knowledge is converted into power. This would appear to be the merit of Dr. Chris Kwaja’s latest Policy Brief on “State Accountability for Enforced Disappearances, Missing Persons and Missing-in-Action in Africa”.
Not only is the topic well-chosen and timely too since all three categories are playing out across the continent, Dr Kwaja, an Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Modibbo Adama University, Yola in Nigeria, has handled the discussion creatively. In other words, there is not the boring regurgitation of philosophers and thinkers taking the place of synthesis in this text. Instead, this is an empirically usable stuff for policy makers and others connected with implementing (international) regimes on containing threats to individuals in the age of enhanced biopower.
Campaigning and campaigners against the phenomena of enforced disappearances, missing persons and missing-in-action persons would even find this most handy, especially as it affects children and given the staggering figure of 25, 000 reported in this text, 14, 000 of them from Nigeria alone. No less disconcerting is the figure for the missing-in-action persons. Campaigners would thus find the section on ‘what is to be done’ very handy in terms of the next level on this dimension of the ‘African condition’ although the issue in question is not original to Africa but everywhere in the world, no matter how constrained what is called the state in Political Science is.
Hyperlinked above, the text is a free, downloadable stuff accessible to nearly all which is another point about it, thanks to Nextier SPD. If only this could be ‘advanced’ from a Policy Brief to an essay!