Power-Sharing in the Local Arena: Man – a Rebel-Held Town in Western Côte d’Ivoire

Kathrin Heitz


In general, peace agreements with power-sharing provisions are analysed at a national level. This article offers insights into the practices of power-sharing in the local arena of western Côte d’Ivoire, in the town of Man. It investigates what brought about a change towards peace in the region of Man and then presents local forms of power-sharing between the community leaders and the rebels who have established a rather complex system of domination and taxation in the territory they occupy. Moreover, the implementation of a territorial power-sharing device, which is part of the peace agreement negotiated among the warring parties at the national level, is analysed: the redeployment of state administration to the rebel-held zones of the country. The ethnographic data on which the article is based reveals that the actors at the local level have their own strategies to address urgent needs and that they play a more active role in peacemaking than is usually acknowledged.

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