In Search of Peace: An Autopsy of the Political Dimensions of Violence in The Democratic Republic of Congo


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Comparative Politics


This dissertation examines the political dimensions of violence in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with a particular focus on the North Kivu province from 2003-2007. Labeled a “failed” state by political analysts, this study argues that contemporary one-dimensional views of political violence that may lead to a “failed” state do little to help scholars and politicians understand why political violence occurs. The dissertation demonstrates that political violence in the DRC is a complex set of multilayered political dynamics that are structurally embedded political challenges at the local level, which are in turn complicated by regional political dynamics and reinforced by an extremely fragile, and what Nest has called, a “fragmented” state.