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  • 1.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Review of Holly Porter's After Rape: Violence, Justice, and Social Harmony in Uganda (London: International African Institute and Cambridge University Press) 2018In: African Studies Quarterly: The Online Journal of African Studies, ISSN 1093-2658, Vol. 17, no 4, p. 138-139Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Lord’s Resistance Army No More: Review of Amony, Evelyn, I am Evelyn Amony: Reclaiming my life from the Lord’s Resistance Army (Un of Wisconsin Press, 2015)2016In: Warscapes Magazine (Open Access)Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With the help of Erin Baines’s careful and knowledgeable editing and pertinent contextualization, Evelyn Amony has written a remarkable memoir entitled I Am Evelyn Amony: reclaiming my life from the Lord’s Resistance Army. Throughout the book there is a forceful narrative agency that is rare among works where outsiders present and edit the life histories of former child soldiers. The account is as painful as it is revealing. Amony’s story is one of “choiceless choices,” to borrow an illustrious phrase from Holocaust researcher Lawrence L. Langer: of bare life and brutal death; of being abducted into rebel ranks and forced, at a very young age, to become the wife of Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army....

  • 3.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    O Anthropology, Where Art Thou?: An auto-ethnography of proposals2016In: The anthropologist as writer: Genres and contexts in the 21st century / [ed] Helena Wulff, New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2016, p. 46-59Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper I revisit the so-called Malinowskian legacy in the light of my efforts to raise funds for my own anthropological endeavors. Today’s almost habitual dismissal of this legacy as parochial risks missing the fact that the anthropology of Bronislaw Malinowski’s days was not simply a colonialist enterprise working under faulty premises. Even if epistemologically ethnocentric, Malinowski and those following his lead paved the way for an engaged, open-minded, reflexive, and indeed global anthropology. I will sketch some possibilities and potentials for ethnographic writing, but more, forces that tend to corrode the anthropological mind, a kind of control and restriction of the anthropological and academic freedom that I guess Malinowski never had to deal with in his life. As one of those ancestors who still interfere with our daily anthropological lives, I suspect him to be somehow troubled with today’s predicament.

  • 4.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Review of Sarah M. H. Nouwen, Complementarity in the Line of Fire: The Catalysing Effect of the International Criminal Court in Uganda and Sudan (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013)2016In: African Studies Quarterly: The Online Journal of African Studies, ISSN 2152-2448, E-ISSN 2152-2448, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 124-125Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Comment on Media Legacies of War: Responses to Global Film Violence in Conflict Zones, by Victor MF Igreja2015In: Current Anthropology, ISSN 0011-3204, E-ISSN 1537-5382, Vol. 56, no 5, p. 691-692Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Finnström, Sverker
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Nordstrom, Carolyn
    War: Anthropological Aspects, Historical Development of2015In: Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, vol 25 / [ed] James D. Wright, Oxford: Elsevier, 2015, 2, p. 377-381Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In defining war, this article explores the origin and historical development of armed aggression from the earliest human societies to the present. The fact that war is a relatively recent invention in the span of human existence, arising with complex societies, suggests war is neither a biological imperative nor integral to the human condition. The many forms war takes, from ethnic conflict through conventional militaries to guerrilla warfare are considered in order to understand the nature and culture of war. The twentieth century has been the bloodiest in history, and this piece examines the relationships between violence, society, and the exercise of power that help explain this. The changing philosophies and practices of war over time and society show war to be a complex constellation of economic, cultural, and existential, as well as political factors. The various theoretical approaches to war, from those characterizing premodern societies and the rise of the modern state to the present are discussed. In concluding, the future of war, and the new directions theory might take in best understanding war in the aftermath of the 2001 September 11 attacks, are considered.

  • 7.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    War stories and troubled peace: Revisiting some secrets of northern Uganda2015In: Current Anthropology, ISSN 0011-3204, E-ISSN 1537-5382, Vol. 56, no S12, p. S222-S230Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many aspects of war are deliberately kept secret, but some are so mundane that they simply are not reflected upon. In the face of the brutal mass violence of most wars today, these mundane secrets are not spectacular enough to capture media attention or the observers’ imaginations. They are, in a sense, the unmarked secrets of everyday war. In this article, I address such unmarked secrets of war. Focusing on war-torn northern Uganda, I follow two parallel threads. One is the anthropology of life histories, or my journey into anthropology in conjunction with the stories of a few Ugandan key informants. The second thread exposes the conditions that influence a researcher’s tendency to craft and edit data and experience. In acknowledging the entanglements of the two threads, I focus on storytelling and listening in situations that initially may remain unmarked – and thus silent and even secret – to the outside participant observer. In addition, rather than presenting any straightforward story of the war in northern Uganda, I extend a conversation on methodology.

  • 8.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    2014. Disillusion, embodiment and violent reconciliations: Engaged anthropology on Rwanda, El Salvador, and Peru: Review essay on Jennie E. Burnet, Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory, and Silence in Rwanda (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012), Irina Carlota Silber, Everyday Revolutionaries: Gender, Violence, and Disillusionment in Postwar El Salvador (New York: Rutgers UP, 2011) and Kimberly Theidon, Intimate Enemies: Violence and Reconciliation in Peru (Philadelphia: PENN Press, 2013)2014In: Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR), ISSN 1081-6976, E-ISSN 1555-2934, Vol. 37, no 2, p. 371-375Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Finnström, Sverker
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Whitehead, Neil L.
    Introduction: Virtual War and Magical Death2013In: Virtual War and Magical Death: Technologies and Imaginaries for Terror and Killing / [ed] Neil L. Whitehead and Sverker Finnström, Durham: Duke University Press , 2013Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This book was inspired by a number of considerations: the limits of ethnographic participation in war zones, the way in which the imaginary becomes significant in creating meaning in the chaotic context of war zones, and how a space of virtual conflict and war emerges from these conjunctions. Such a virtual space is not separate from the physical battlefield, although for most Euro-Americans the battles are something “out there” in the presumably dangerous spaces of Africa, Middle East, or south of the Mexico–United States border. However, we contend in the volume that the actual killings on the battlefields, wherever they happen to be located, are intimately linked to an emerging virtual space created by news and cinematic and gaming media as well as the mediating and mapping technologies of contemporary military violence—such as airborne attack drones, satellite surveillance from space, stealth airplanes and helicopters, night-vision equipment, and the associated use of politically covert assassination operations...

  • 10.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Review of Nicolas Argenti and Katharina Schramm, eds., Remembering Violence: Anthropological Perspectives on Intergenerational Transmission (Berghahn Books, 2010).2013In: Social Analysis: Journal of Cultural and Social Practice, ISSN 0155-977X, E-ISSN 1558-5727, Vol. 57, no 2, p. 131-133Article, book review (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Review of Susan Thomson, An Ansoms and Jude Murison, eds., Emotional and Ethical Challenges for Field Research in Africa: The story behind the findings (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)2013In: Journal of Modern African Studies, ISSN 0022-278X, E-ISSN 1469-7777, Vol. 51, no 3, p. 540-541Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Today he is no more: Magic, intervention, and global war in Uganda2013In: Virtual war and magical death: Technologies and imaginaries for terror and killing / [ed] Neil L. Whitehead and Sverker Finnström, Durham: Duke University Press , 2013Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, I revisit a few months of intensive fieldwork conducted in late 2005. This fieldwork spell was part of a much longer engagement with war-torn Acholiland in northern Uganda starting in 1997 and still ongoing. But back in 2005, I could follow closely the unfolding of local news as the International Criminal Court (ICC) unsealed its arrest warrants for the leaders of the globally infamous Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement (LRA). From this horizon, I discuss the intersection of media reporting, international interventions, and violent insurgency/counterinsurgency warfare in Uganda and beyond. In sketching an ethnography that trails violent death, I will not just focus on any instrumental goal of violent acts but more on what such acts do. I thus sketch how perpetrators, victims, and witnesses of violence alike “are directed toward the ever-shifting horizons of their existence” (Kapferer), and also how such existential horizons may implode in vital conjunctures that are not only highly violent but also magical.

  • 13.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology.
    Humanitarian death and the magic of global war in Uganda2012In: War, Technology, Anthropology: / [ed] Koen Stroeken, Oxford: Berghahn Books , 2012, Vol. 55, p. 106-119Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In view of the 2005 unsealing of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrants for the Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement leadership, this paper sketches a violent intersection of international interventions and war as played out in Uganda. By 2005 local realities had become firmly entangled with larger regional and even global warscapes­, an entanglement that still today perpetuates conflicts in the wider region. The paper argues that the intersection of the local and the global is part of the magical terror of war, produced not primarily by any Africanness but in the emplacement of global forces on the African scene. A most prominent feature of magical terror is the making and constant remaking of a master narrative which reduces a murky reality of globalized war into a black-and-white story of the modern Ugandan government and its international partners in development defending the noncombatant citizenry against the Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement.

  • 14.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    KONY 2012, Military Humanitarianism, and the Magic of Occult Economies2012In: Africa Spectrum, ISSN 0002-0397, E-ISSN 1868-6869, Vol. 47, no 2-3, p. 127-135Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The global success of the film KONY 2012 by Invisible Chil­dren, Inc., manifests far greater magical powers than those of Joseph Kony and his ruthless Lord’s Resistance Army, which it portrays. The most promi­nent feature of the Invisible Children lobby is the making and constant remaking of a master narrative that depoliticizes and dehistoricizes a murky reality of globalized war into an essentialized black-and-white story. The magic of such a digestible storyline, with Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony as a global poster boy for evil personified, not only plays into the hands of the oppres­sive Ugandan government but has also become handy for the US armed forces as they seek to increase their presence on the African conti­nent. As the US-led war on terror is renewed and expanded, Invisible Chil­dren’s humanitarian slogan, “Stop at nothing”, has proven to be exception­ally selective, manifesting the occult economy of global activism that calls for military interventions.

  • 15.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Review of David H. Price’s Weaponizing Anthropology (Counterpunch and AK press, 2011)2012In: Anthropological Quarterly, ISSN 0003-5491, E-ISSN 1534-1518, Vol. 85, no 3, p. 979-984Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
    Review of Krijn Peter’s War and the Crisis of Youth in Sierra Leone (Cambridge UP, 2011)2012In: African Studies Quarterly: The Online Journal of African Studies, ISSN 1093-2658, Vol. 13, no 1-2, p. 158-160Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
    Review of Kamari Maxine Clarke’s Fictions of justice: The International Criminal Court and the challenge of legal pluralism in sub-Saharan Africa (Cambridge UP, 2009)2011In: Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR), ISSN 1081-6976, E-ISSN 1555-2934, Vol. 34, no 1, p. 185-187Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 18.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
    An African hell of colonial imagination?: The Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, another story2010In: The Lord’s Resistance Army: Myth and reality / [ed] Tim Allen and Koen Vlassenroot, London: Zed Books , 2010, p. 74-89Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    I first encountered an Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) manifesto in 1997, a tattered one-page ten-point program. Some ten years later, with peace talks held in Juba (south Sudan) that started in 2006 but ended some two years later, my file with LRA written statements has grown big. This is basically also the timeframe that I cover in this chapter. Some LRA documents have been given to me by diaspora contacts in Sweden and the UK, a few I have downloaded from the Internet – then often copies of documents circulating on the ground – still most of them have actually been shown to me during fieldwork in Uganda, by people who put their trust in me despite a situation of severe state oppression. There is a clear continuity in claims put forward in the LRA documents that I have gathered throughout the years, and I will present something of a rarity in the academic literature on the war in northern Uganda. My narrative will also function as an implicit chronology.

  • 19.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
    Pillars of the Nation: Child Citizens and Ugandan National Development2010In: American Anthropologist, ISSN 0002-7294, E-ISSN 1548-1433, Vol. 112, no 1, p. 157-157Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 20.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
    Political bodies, local realities and institutional structures of (in-)justice2010In: Social Anthropology, ISSN 0964-0282, E-ISSN 1469-8676, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 220-224Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Review essay of Judith Butler’s Frames of War: When is Life Grievable? (Verso, 2009), Paul Ricoeur’s The Just (Chicago UP, 2000), and Amartya Sen’s The Idea of Justice (Harvard UP, 2009).

  • 21.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
    Reconciliation grown bitter?: War, retribution, and ritual action in northern Uganda2010In: Localizing Transitional Justice: Interventions and Priorities after Mass Violence / [ed] Rosalind Shaw and Lars Waldorf, with Pierre Hazan, Stanford: Stanford University Press , 2010, p. 135-156Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the effort to critically assess fixed, hard-line wartime arguments, my chapter proceeds in three stages. I begin with a sketch of some measures taken by the Ugandan government to end the war in northern Uganda. I then look at the international involvement from two standpoints, the war on terror and the International Criminal Court's effort to bring Lord's Resistance Army rebel leaders to dock. Second, I proceed to discuss two forms of ritualized reconciliation among the Acholi living in the immediate war zone, the debated mato oput (“to drink the bitter root”) and the not-so-well-known gomo tong (“to bend the spears”) rituals. Finally, in bringing these different layers together in a discussion on ritual action, I show that retributive justice, amnesty laws, and reconciliation are sources of hope, but more, of contest and confusion, and of feelings of inequality, even bitterness.

  • 22.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
    Review of Neil Kodesh, Beyond the Royal Gaze: Clanship and Public Healing in Buganda2010In: Anthropological Quarterly, ISSN 0003-5491, E-ISSN 1534-1518, Vol. 83, no 4, p. 941-946Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
    The tide of war and the mango trees of Uganda: on receiving the 2009 Margaret Mead Award, México, March 20102010In: Multiethnica, ISSN 0284-396X, no 32, p. 17-19Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, The Hugo Valentin Centre.
    Uganda och den dubbelt haltande politiken2010In: Promekrati: Mellan diktatur och demokrati, Lund: Studentlitteratur , 2010, p. 237-266Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    I detta kapitel vill jag beskriva varför den politiska utvecklingen i Uganda, trots löften om motsatsen, tycks göra det omöjligt för ett fredligt skifte av det politiska ledarskapet. Hur har det politiska landskapet kommit att utvecklas i Uganda? Mer än tjugo år efter det installationstal till nationen i vilket gerillaledaren Yoweri Museveni definierade problemet med Ugandas ledarskap, biter han sig fast vid makten. Militären har fått permanent representation i landets parlament, och Museveni har genom åren stigit i militär grad till general samtidigt som han är landets överbefälhavare. Den revolution som han utlovade, med maktskiften genom demokratiska val i stället för statskupper och inbördeskrig, tycks ha uteblivit.

  • 25.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Culture in Chaos: An Anthropology of the Social Condition in War. Stephen C. Lubkemann2009In: Journal of anthropological research, ISSN 0091-7710, E-ISSN 2153-3806, Vol. 65, no 3, p. 510-512Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 26.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Gendered War and Rumors of Saddam Hussein in Uganda2009In: Anthropology and Humanism, ISSN 1559-9167, E-ISSN 1548-1409, Vol. 34, no 1, p. 61-70Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses the role of rumors in everyday Acholi life in war‐torn northern Uganda. These rumors concern various health threats such as HIV and Ebola. The rumors are closely associated with the forces of domination that are alleged to destroy female sexuality and women's reproductive health and, by extension, Acholi humanity. Moreover, the rumors are stories that say something profound about lived entrapments and political asymmetries in Uganda and beyond.

  • 27.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    The Fear of the Midnight Knock: State Sovereignty and Internal Enemies in Uganda2009In: Crisis of the State: War and Social Upheaval / [ed] Bruce Kapferer, Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2009, p. 124-142Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 28.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    An African hell of colonial imagination?: The Lord's Resistance Army/Movement in Uganda, another story2008In: Politique Africaine, ISSN 0244-7827, E-ISSN 2264-5047, no 112, p. 119-139Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Lord’s Resistance Army/Movement (LRA/M) in Uganda is now world infamous for its violence. As most observers, including academics, have dismissed the LRA/M on moral grounds, they have disqualified the movement as nonpolitical, rebels without a cause other than their allegedly bizarre syncretic beliefs. This article indicates an alternative or perhaps complementary direction. In presenting something of a rarity in the academic literature on the war in Northern Uganda, the article examines actual LRA/M documents, arguing that there is a continuity in the claims and political grievances put forward by the LRA/M throughout the years.

  • 29.
    Finnström, Sverker
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Atkinson, Ronald R.
    Building sustainable peace in northern Uganda2008In: Horn of Africa Bulletin, ISSN 1100-2840, Vol. 20, no 4, p. 1-3Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Child Soldiers in Africa by Alcinda Honwana2008In: Journal of Modern African Studies, ISSN 0022-278X, E-ISSN 1469-7777, Vol. 46, no 1, p. 161-162Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 31.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Inget bistånd är neutralt2008In: Svenska dagbladet, ISSN 1101-2412, no 12 decemberArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Vågspel: Humanitärt bistånd kan stjälpa snarare än hjälpa, om man inte sätter sig in i den aktuella problematiken och ställer tydliga och kontinuerliga krav på hur stödet skall användas. I Uganda har den bristande kontrollen bidragit till att cementera ett ickedemokratiskt styre.

  • 32.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Julie Flint och Alex de Waals, Darfur: Konfliktens bakgrund (Celanders förlag, 2007)2008In: Arena, ISSN 1652-0556, no 1, p. 59-59Article, book review (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 33.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Living with Bad Surroundings: War, history, and everyday moments in northern Uganda2008Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since 1986, the Acholi people of northern Uganda have lived in the crossfire of a violent civil war, with the Lord’s Resistance Army and other groups fighting the Ugandan government. Acholi have been murdered, maimed, and driven into displacement. Thousands of children have been abducted and forced to fight. Many observers have perceived Acholiland and northern Uganda to be an exception in contemporary Uganda, which has been celebrated by the international community for its increased political stability and particularly for its fight against AIDS. These observers tend to portray the Acholi as war-prone, whether because of religious fanaticism or intractable ethnic hatreds. In Living with Bad Surroundings, Sverker Finnström rejects these characterizations and challenges other simplistic explanations for the violence in northern Uganda. Foregrounding the narratives of individual Acholi, Finnström enables those most affected by the ongoing “dirty war” to explain how they participate in, comprehend, survive, and even resist it.

    Finnström draws on fieldwork conducted in northern Uganda between 1997 and 2006 to describe how the Acholi—especially the younger generation, those born into the era of civil strife—understand and attempt to control their moral universe and material circumstances. Structuring his argument around indigenous metaphors and images, notably the Acholi concepts of good and bad surroundings, he vividly renders struggles in war and the related ills of impoverishment, sickness, and marginalization. In this rich ethnography, Finnström provides a clear-eyed assessment of the historical, cultural, and political underpinnings of the civil war while maintaining his focus on Acholi efforts to achieve “good surroundings,” viable futures for themselves and their families.

  • 34.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Inside West Nile: violence, history and representation on an African frontier by Mark Leopold Oxford, Santa Fe and Kampala: James Currey, School of American Research Press and Fountain Publishers2007In: Journal of Modern African Studies, ISSN 0022-278X, E-ISSN 1469-7777, Vol. 45, no 3, p. 485-486Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 35.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
    Panafrikanism 30002007In: Arena, ISSN 1652-0556, no 2, p. 30-33Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 36.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Terror and Violence: Imagination and the Unimaginable. Edited by Andrew Strathern, Pamela J. Stewart, and Neil L. Whitehead2007In: Ethnohistory, ISSN 0014-1801, E-ISSN 1527-5477, Vol. 54, no 4, p. 771-773Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 37.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Besvärliga andar och västerländsk psykiatri2006In: Forskning och Framsteg, ISSN 0015-7937, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 52-55Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Det finns flera språk för att hantera traumatiska minnen – till exempel den moderna psykiatrins och andevärldens. Men de är inte så olika som man kan tro. Antropologen Sverker Finnström rapporterar från sin pågående forskning i Uganda.

  • 38.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Först fred - sedan rättvisa2006In: Uppsala Nya Tidning, no 2 juli, p. A4-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    UNT Debatt, 2 juli 2006:

    De fredstrevare som nu görs i Uganda bör självklart stödjas av Sverige. Rebellarmén i Uganda har accepterat alla krav som södra Sudans regering ställt. En bättre möjlighet till fredssamtal i regionen har inte funnits sedan 1994, skriver Sverker Finnström.

  • 39.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Ingen säker resa: (om Sverige i Uganda och Uganda i Sverige)2006In: Tidskriften Arena, ISSN 1652-0556, no 2, p. 46-50Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Sverige återfinns i Uganda och Uganda i Sverige. Med globaliseringens möjligheter växer också det omöjliga. Sverker Finnström avlivar myten om centrum och periferi.

  • 40.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Meaningful rebels?: Young adult perceptions on the Lord’s Resistance Movement/Army in Uganda2006In: Navigating youth, generating adulthood: Social becoming in an African context / [ed] Catrine Christiansen, Mats Utas and Henrik E. Vigh, Uppsala: The Nordic Africa Institute , 2006Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper shows that rebels and non-combatant young adults alike experience a diffuse yet very real discontent and disenchantment because of increased marginalisation. Despite the internecine and counter-productive violence committed by the rebels, it is argued that there is nevertheless an increasing frustration among young adults over the fact that the political issues the rebels address are left without commentary in the public realm. Given its experience of being silenced, many young adults claimed, the LRM/A’s effort to articulate politically viable statements made sense. Young people’s stories, in public only too commonly sidestepped or reshaped, are comments on contemporary Ugandan society as such which place the rebel manifestos in relief. Their stories can deepen the understanding of contemporary African societies in emerging global realities.

  • 41.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    NGOs part of northern Uganda war2006In: The Weekly Observer (Kampala), no 22 JulyArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Opinion, The Weekly Observer, 22 July 2006:

    Why are international NGOs targeted by the LRA rebels? Seldom can aid and humanitarianism of the international community be neutral in the eyes of the locals, and even less so in the eyes of the rebels. When humanitarian organisations take over many of the functions of the Ugandan government, some will also be perceived, as the government is, as a parallel partner to the army.

  • 42.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Ord av vikt mellan världarna2006In: AmnestyPress, ISSN 0284-7108, no 1, p. 40-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 43.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Peace talks with Kony are worth everything2006In: The Sunday Monitor: Uganda's Independent Daily, Kampala, no 9 JulyArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    The Sunday Monitor, Kampala, opinion/analysis, 9 July 2006:

    Neither culturally informed practices of reconciliation nor international retributive justice can replace political efforts at peacemaking, as has been the development in Uganda. Perhaps it is even too early to talk about reconciliation or justice. Instead, to start with, peace talks are urgently needed.

  • 44.
    Finnström, Sverker
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Atkinson, Ronald R.
    Realists in Juba hold hope for northern peace2006In: The Daily Monitor, no 21 SeptArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Newspaper op-ed 21 Sept 2006, also published by Sudan Tribune (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article17685):

    The International Crisis Group points out that the Juba talks need international backing and support. “Riek [Machar] has done an impressive job,” they write, “but he cannot realistically navigate the waters ahead without more help from both his own government and the international community.” It is obvious that the talks need better international support. But we have some concerns with such an involvement. Several past efforts to bring peace to northern Uganda have been marred by the unrealistic—rather than realistic—involvement of the international community.

  • 45.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Review of In Sierra Leone by Michael Jackson (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004)2006In: American Ethnologist, ISSN 0094-0496, E-ISSN 1548-1425, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 2027-2028Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 46.
    Finnström, Sverker
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Sjögren, Anders
    Sluta dalta med president Museveni!2006In: Svenska Dagbladet: Brännpunkt, no 9 mars, p. 5-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Debattartikel, SvDs Brännpunkt 9 mars 2006:

    Den fruktansvärda situationen i norra Uganda nämns inte i den svenska regeringens utrikesdeklaration. I radion förklarar i stället en statssekreterare att president Museveni "vill sitt folk väl, men på sitt sätt". Det skriver Sverker Finnström och Anders Sjögren, som på heltid följer utvecklingen i landet.

    (med replik 12 mars, slutreplik 21 mars)

  • 47.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Survival in war-torn Uganda2006In: Anthropology Today, ISSN 0268-540X, E-ISSN 1467-8322, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 12-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article describes some of the slippery but very real non-formal aspects of economic life and war in Acholiland, northern Uganda, and attempt, in the words of anthropologist Carolyn Nordstrom, ‘an ethnography of the shadows’ – that is, a description of those frontier realities of power, non-formal economic exchanges and everyday survival. Today’s war in northern Uganda, although fought locally, is international and even global in character. Worldwide flows of imagery, weaponry and humanitarian aid become entangled with local socio-political realities. In narrating a young man’s story of survival, the article shows how internally displaced people in the war zone understand and explain the fact that the international community has become increasingly and inescapably entangled with the politics and practices of this war.

  • 48. Atkinson, Ronald R.
    et al.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Uganda's moment for peace2006In: International Herald Tribune, no 9 AugustArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Op-ed, 9 August 2006:

    While wars elsewhere have grabbed the headlines - most recently in Lebanon and Israel - Africa's longest-running war has been ravaging northern Uganda for 20 years. The conflict has mainly pitted the Ugandan government against a rebel movement called the Lord's Resistance Army...

  • 49.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    Wars of the past and war in the present: The Lord’s Resistance Movement/Army in Uganda2006In: Africa, ISSN 0001-9720, E-ISSN 1750-0184, Vol. 76, no 2, p. 200-220Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    War has ravaged Acholiland in northern Uganda since 1986. The Ugandan army is fighting the Lord's ResistanceMovement/Army (LRM/A) rebels. Based on anthropological fieldwork, the article aims at exemplifying the ways in which non-combatant people's experiences of war and violence are domesticated in cosmological terms as strategies of coping, and it relates tales of wars in the past to experiences of violent death and war in the present. There has been a politicized debate in Uganda over whether or not the LRM/A rebels have the elders' ceremonial warfare blessing. In sketching this debate, the article interprets the possible warfare blessing - which some informants interpreted as having turned into a curse on Acholiland - as a critical event that benefits from further deliberation, regardless of its existence or non-existence. It is argued that no warfare blessing can be regarded as the mere utterance of words. Rather, a blessing is performed within the framework of the local moral world. It is finally argued that the issue of the warfare blessing is a lived consequence of the conflict, but, nevertheless, cannot be used as an explanatory model for the cause of the conflict.

  • 50.
    Finnström, Sverker
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
    For God and My Life: War and Cosmology in Northern Uganda2005In: No peace no war: An Anthropology of Contemporary Armed Conflict / [ed] Paul Richards, Athens: Ohio University Press, 2005, p. 98-116Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this chapter, I hold that today’s conflict in northern Uganda, although fought on local grounds, is international and even global in character. Worldwide flows of imagery, weaponry and humanitarian aid entangle with local socio-political realities, in a way typical for most small-scale and low-intensity wars at the turn of the millennium. Alliances on the regional level add to the complexity of local battle scenes. In the local discontent, my informants articulated these complexities. “The surroundings are bad”, they often said. In discussing important aspects of a life with bad surroundings, my chapter focuses on the local lifeworld, and on actions, interpretations and explanations that are essential to any understanding, academic or popular, of the conflict. In pursuing this aim I investigate how non-combatant people in the war zone understand and explain the rebels’ violent practices on the ground, but also how they relate to the fact that the international community has become increasingly and inescapably entangled with the politics and practices of war. On the existential level, I propose people actively practice a kind of knowing by engagement. To be able to highlight this I put emphasis on meanings in use. Such meanings are never fixed but negotiated in an interactive socio-cultural and political process of interpretation and counter-interpretation, including not only the most influential agents, like the rebel movement, the Ugandan government or international relief organisations, but also the ordinary people with direct experience of the war.

12 1 - 50 of 62
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