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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Africa Today
Title of proceedings Africa Today


This article presents and analyzes how Eritrean conscripts perceive the political arena and state power in their country. It accounts for the various forms that resistance exerted by young Eritreans takes in the authoritarian context of Eritrea nowadays. Limited by authoritarianism, expressions of discontent and condemnation are carefully concealed in private spheres. Dissidence manifests itself through indiscipline and obstruction if not desertion and exile that all silently challenge the social order as defined by the political elites. I argue however that such practices and representations often contribute to the reification and accentuation of certain characteristics of state power.