The two main arguments in the book are to contest the reduction of African civil wars to ethnic conflicts, and to point out the emergence of civil wars as the result of political struggles. The construction of Africa as the "other" has entailed that factors commonly used to explain war elsewhere have been neglected in Sub-Saharan Africa. The book aims at bringing the political power struggle as it evolves around the state to the forefront in analyses of civil wars and societal conflict.
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