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Identity Politics, Citizenship and the 2010 Post-Election Conflict in Côte d’Ivoire

Denis Adesina Daniel, David Uchena Enweremadu
Open Journal of Political Science , Volume 10, pp 213-233; doi:10.4236/ojps.2020.102015

Abstract: In 2010, Cote d’Ivoire witnessed a very devastating and unprecedented post- election conflict. The conflict resulted in both internal and external impact that over the years continue to affect the pace of development in the nation. This study aimed to investigate the causes and main drivers of the post-ele- ctoral crisis in Cote d’Ivoire in 2010. The study used expository research design adopting in-depth interviews to collect primary data and contextual approach to extract data from briefings from the crisis; UN, EU and international election observation reports and published information in press materials and peer-reviewed journals. The interviews were conducted through cluster sampling method with Election observers, ECOWAS Representation in Cote d’Ivoire, Staff of Abidjan Political Research Center “Centre de Recherche Politique d’Abidjan (CRPA)”, National and International Civil Society, Political Experts, Conflict Experts, Political Scientists and Lecturers in the field. Structural descriptive and expository methods were used to analyse and present findings based on the Marxist and Liberal Structural theories of conflict. The study found out that the 2010 electoral conflict was caused by political flaws due to unclear policies and weak electoral institutions that allowed political interruption and manipulation. Furthermore, national identity was the main driver used by political actors to instrumentalize the conflict to make it seem like a civil war. Illiteracy, tribalism and religion were sensitive areas used to break social cohesion under the big umbrella of national identity. The concept of citizenship should be re-conceptualized and made clear in the constitution to prevent re-occurrence of post-election conflict in the coming years like 2020.
Keywords: identity / citizenship / conflict / structural / civil / expository / Cote / Ivoire / Main Driver

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