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From Bullies to Officers and Gentlemen
How Notions of Professionalism and Civility Transformed the Ghana Armed Forces
Humphrey Asamoah Agyekum
262 pages, bibliog., 11 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-294-6 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Not Yet Published (July 2019)
eISBN 978-1-78920-295-3 eBook Not Yet Published
“It goes beyond the older studies of military regimes in the “Third World” and beyond more contemporary ethnographies of guerilla movements and violent gangs in Africa (and to an extent parts of Asia). The emphasis on the everydayness of military life and the chapters about the different generations and their expectations of themselves, their careers, globalization and the military are excellent.” • Eyal Ben-Ari, Kinneret Academic College
“This project is based on an unparalleled access to a notoriously difficult institution… [It] is a solid work that… brings an unusual perspective to studies of the military.” • Daniel Hoffman, University of Washington
Based on unprecedented access to the Ghanaian military barracks and inspired by the recent resurgence of coups in West Africa, Agyekum assesses why and how the Ghana Armed Forces were transformed from an organization that actively orchestrated coups into an institution that accepts the authority of the democratically elected civilian government. Focusing on the process of professionalization of the Ghanaian military, this ethnography based monograph examines both historical and contemporary themes, and assesses the shift in military personnel from ‘Buga Buga’ soldiers – uneducated, lower-class soldiers, human rights abusers – to a more ‘modern’ fighting force.
Humphrey Asamoah Agyekum graduated in African Studies at Leiden University in 2011, where he studied political violence and insecurity and their implications on young people’s future planning in post-conflict Guinea-Bissau. In 2016, he received his PhD in Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Currently, the author is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Amsterdam.
Subject: Peace & Conflict Studies Applied Anthropology
List of Figures
Chapter 1. The Breakdown of Everydayness
Chapter 2. On Hierarchy and Trust: ‘Monkeys Play by Sizes’
Chapter 3. On discipline: Disciplining the Body and the Mind
Chapter 4. New Soldiers on the Block: From Buga-Buga Soldier to Disciplined Soldier Subjects
Chapter 5. Factors of Continual Subjection
Chapter 6. Transformation in Broad Perspective: Professionalism, Civility and Civil-Military Relations
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