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Die Politisierung von Ethnizität und der Kampf um Staatsbürgerschaft und Partizipation in der Côte d’Ivoire

Dörte Rompel

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The politicalization of ethnicity and the struggle for citizenship and participation in Côte d’Ivoire.

In the mid 1990s the politicalization of ethnicity became the main instrument of power control in Côte d’Ivoire. The ruling elites developed the ethno-nationalist concept of ‘Ivority’ in order to divide the Ivorian population into the categories of autochthon Ivorians and Ivorians of doubtful origin or strangers. These politics of exclusion led to civil war in 2002 and the separation of the country into a rebel controlled North and a South reigned by President Laurent Gbagbo. Above all, socially, economically and politically marginalized youths have been strongly influenced by the politicalization of ethnic identities and citizenship. Due to this, youths must be conceptualized as important political players in the included, as well as in the excluded, groups of society. By focusing on this socio-political category it is possible to gain an extensive understanding of the political process which extends from the introduction of a multiparty system in 1990, up to the so called new dynamics of peace today.