Witchcraft, Violence and Mediation in Africa: A Comparative Study of Ghana and Cameroon

Title: Witchcraft, Violence and Mediation in Africa: A Comparative Study of Ghana and Cameroon
Authors: Roxburgh, Shelagh
Date: 2014
Abstract: This thesis explores the question of how witchcraft-related violence may be best addressed through the discipline of political science. This comparative analysis seeks to investigate the effectiveness of four actors mediation efforts: the state, religious organizations, NGOs and traditional authorities. Based on an extensive inter-disciplinary literature review and fieldwork conducted in Ghana and Cameroon, this thesis views witchcraft as a form of power and through this analysis presents two inter-related conclusions. The first conclusions argues that no actor is currently able to successfully address witchcraft-related violence or reduce the sense of spiritual insecurity which is associated with violence due to logical constraints. This is seen primarily in the inability of the state, many religions and NGOs to acknowledge the reality of witchcraft or address experiences of witchcraft which reflect the needs of those seeking redress. Where actors may share these experiences or reality, as in the case of traditional authorities, their ability is often seen as being limited by or in conflict with other actors. The second conclusion addresses this conflict by framing the logics of witchcraft and contemporary liberalism, seen in the state and NGO interventions, as a site of contention and debate; one which not only affects witchcraft-related violence in West Africa, but which also contributes to the construction of this phenomenon in academia and international discourse.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/31641
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -