Accepted paper:

Clientelism and paternalism on logging camp in Gabon


Etienne Bourel (University Lyon 2)

Paper short abstract:

Based on a colonial history typified by conceding logic, the social relations of the Gabonese logging camps are still marked by strong hierarchical logic. Concepts as paternalism and clientelism are central in the companies' modulation of social links.

Paper long abstract:

This paper aims to analyze continuities and changes in Gabonese logging camps daily work. It is based on research conducted as part of a Ph.D. on ways of working and living in logging camps in the country. Logging began a century ago in Gabon, during a colonial era and through concessions. If the abolition of forced labor led to a possible higher wages for workers, the concessions logic has lasted until today. It generates very marked differences in firms' hierarchy. Through control over workers and the allocation of premiums and benefits, clientelism and paternalism emerged. Currently, the gradual incorporation of sustainable development allows the introduction of new management techniques. But, most of all, they contribute to make more subtle the forms of domination suffered by workers.

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