Speaker: Antonia Juelich, Postdoctoral Fellow, International Security Program

What happens when civilians in conflict zones from Somalia to Syria find themselves in rebel strongholds? It is often assumed that they either cooperate or resist insurgents in such contexts. The messy reality, however, is that people rarely fall in just one category. . Narratives from former Boko Haram associates, collected during extensive fieldwork in Nigeria, reveal that they executed and refused orders, provided labor from domestic chores to high-risk military support, were enslaved and empowered in the group's forest camps. This seminar describes a broad spectrum of civilian engagement, from collusion to compliance to resistance, and explains what gives rise to such unexpected turbulence in highly controlled settings. The offered framework introduces the concept of militarized rebel governance and demonstrates how noncombatants adapt by engaging in power struggles to survive or even thrive in the system.

Open to Harvard ID Holders Only: Admittance will be on a first come–first served basis. Coffee & Tea Provided.

For more information, email the International Security Program Assistant at susan_lynch@harvard.edu.