Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
African FuturesEssays on Crisis, Emergence, and Possibility$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Brian Goldstone and Juan Obarrio

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226402246

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226402413.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Forensics of Capital

Forensics of Capital

(p.77) Six Forensics of Capital
African Futures

Michael Ralph

University of Chicago Press

It is impossible to understand Senegal’s standing as a diplomatic leader without linking the “blood debt” the government of France still publicly acknowledges to the Tirailleurs Sénégalais who served in the colonial military to the role Senegal has played in pioneering debt management strategies for sub-Saharan Africa. Blood debt has two distinct registers: it first refers to a gift that cannot possibly be repaid—sacrifice, loss—a priceless gift that forges a sense of political belonging. But as blood debt helped Senegal to signal a commitment to democracy in a modern diplomatic arena, it has concrete implications for the idea of “good governance” against which African polities are now routinely measured. This paper draws from original archival research in France and Senegal and ethnographic interviews with US and Senegalese military officials to develop what I call the “forensics of capital,” where people reckon with breaches in implied and expressed civil compacts by translating physical injury into a rationale that establishes liability for the offense.

Keywords:   debt, Senegal, military, diplomacy, democracy

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.