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The Fines and the Spies: the Eritrean transnational dynamics of denunciation

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2015
Author Bozzini David,
Project Revolution Reloaded? Political Culture and Social Tensions Among Eritrean Social Movement Organizations in Exile
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Social Analysis
Volume (Issue) 59(4)
Page(s) 32 - 49
Title of proceedings Social Analysis
DOI 10.3167/sa.2015.590403


Since 2005, the Eritrean state has implemented measures against the increasing desertion of conscripts by retaliating against deserters’ families. This article explores the fears spread by this mea- sure in Eritrea and analyzes how people have interpreted its erratic enforcement, including in those countries to which deserters have ed in massive numbers to seek political asylum. The retaliation has served to ‘export’ fears about the Eritrean state’s surveillance abroad and has reshaped political imagination concerning the power of the Eritrean authoritarian state in the diaspora. I argue that imaginings about the state play a crucial role by curbing the political dissidence of new exiles and by giving rise to new fault lines in the diaspora communities in ways that are bene cial to the current Eritrean leadership.