Accepted paper:

The Simultaneity of Authority in Hybrid Orders (co-authored with Peter Albrecht)


Louise Moe (University of Queensland and the Danish Institute of International Studies)

Paper short abstract:

Paper long abstract:

In order to more accurately grasp how hybridity produces new forms of political orders, it must be understood as more than the sum of the elements that intermingle. This article takes the analysis of 'hybridity' one step further, by shifting attention from interactions between 'Western liberal peace' and 'local agency' to the enactment and performativity of authority. Our analysis focuses on the post-colonial subject and his articulations of authority rather than on cultural and political entities ('the state', 'liberal peace', 'custom'). In his assertion of authority, the post-colonial subject draws on and practices several registers of authority simultaneously, including legislation, initiation into secret cults, locally and nationally orientated autochthony, etc. By introducing the notion of 'simultaneity of discourse' we open up to the multiple, contradictory and complementary spaces of discourse and practice that are contained in the enactment of authority and in the production of hybrid orders. This suggests a model for reading dialogically concepts such as 'bureaucracy', 'autochthony', 'kinship', 'legislation' and 'policy'. Inherent to these spaces of discourse and practice is a perpetual tension of sameness and difference. It is the dynamism of this tension, which defines the hybrid order's quality of simultaneity. This approach more accurately captures the syncretism and hybridity of ordermaking than current debates on hybridity that tend to fall into self-contradiction by insisting that forms of authority always already are pre-hybridized, while relying on analytical categories that represent the hybrid order as an amalgamation of the liberal state and a local order.

panel SE32
Anthropology of peace and war in contemporary Asia and Africa: reflections on the meaning of 'hybridity' and 'the everyday' in conflict studies