Karel Arnaut is an anthropologist affiliated to the Department of African Languages and Cultures and the Conflict Research Group, both at Ghent University. He is also editor-in chief of Afrika Focus. The main focus of his research is student- and youth movements, social participation, and transformations of the public sphere in Côte d'Ivoire (West-Africa). Apart from that Arnaut teaches and conducts research on postcolonial dynamics in connection with the image, the societal position and the diasporic identities of Africa(ns) in Belgium and Europe.  


Karel Arnaut

Supported projects

Guantánamo at Abidjan

  • Politics
  • Armed conflict

More than eight years into the Ivorian conflict and on the eve of the presidential elections which are meant to signal the end of violence, Abidjan's former militias are still very much a tangible presence in the southern part of the country. Beyond occasionally voicing their discontent over the unsettled 1000-dollar demobilisation fee, ex-militia members are active in ways that were difficult to predict when they first emerged in the early days of the conflict. In view of the upcoming elect ions it is important to assess the militias' involvement in politics and vice-versa.