Beginning in 2012, fighting between various factions in the Central African Republic (CAR) caused widespread bloodshed and displaced hundreds of thousands in the Texas-sized nation of 4.7 million people.
Scholars, journalists, and politicians have struggled to make sense of the conflict in the rural, landlocked country — a former French colony.
Louisa Lombard, assistant professor of anthropology at Yale, has spent 13 years conducting ethnographic research in CAR. Her latest book, “State of Rebellion,” puts the recent uprising in social, cultural, and historical context. She examines the role that international organizations and nongovernmental organizations have played in sustaining conflict in the little-known country.
Lombard recently spoke with YaleNews about her book. An edited transcript follows.