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From Bullies to Officers and Gentlemen: How Notions of Professionalism and Civility Transformed the Ghana Armed Forces

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From Bullies to Officers and Gentlemen

How Notions of Professionalism and Civility Transformed the Ghana Armed Forces

Humphrey Asamoah Agyekum

252 pages, bibliog., 11 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-294-6 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (July 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-295-3 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $34.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“It goes beyond the older studies of military regimes in the “Third World” and beyond more contemporary ethnographies of guerilla movements and violent gangs in Africa (and to an extent parts of Asia). The emphasis on the everydayness of military life and the chapters about the different generations and their expectations of themselves, their careers, globalization and the military are excellent.” • Eyal Ben-Ari, Kinneret Academic College

“This project is based on an unparalleled access to a notoriously difficult institution… [It] is a solid work that… brings an unusual perspective to studies of the military.” • Daniel Hoffman, University of Washington


Based on unprecedented access to the Ghanaian military barracks and inspired by the recent resurgence of coups in West Africa, Agyekum assesses why and how the Ghana Armed Forces were transformed from an organization that actively orchestrated coups into an institution that accepts the authority of the democratically elected civilian government. Focusing on the process of professionalization of the Ghanaian military, this ethnography based monograph examines both historical and contemporary themes, and assesses the shift in military personnel from ‘Buga Buga’ soldiers – uneducated, lower-class soldiers, human rights abusers – to a more ‘modern’ fighting force.

Humphrey Asamoah Agyekum graduated in African Studies at Leiden University in 2011, where he studied political violence and insecurity and their implications on young people’s future planning in post-conflict Guinea-Bissau. In 2016, he received his PhD in Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Currently, the author is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Amsterdam.

Subject: Peace and Conflict StudiesApplied Anthropology
Area: Africa


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