Temporalities of ‘doing’: The over-youth and their navigations of post-violence contexts in Africa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This paper argues that when violence subsides, youth are confronted with shifting meanings of age(ing) and respect that not only question their very identities but also create new barriers to their ability to navigate difficult political and economic contexts. Drawing on two years of ethnographic fieldwork in the oil creeks of the Niger Delta of Nigeria, it suggests a new way of defining youth which focusses on ‘doing things’ rather than on ‘being something’. Thinking about youth as a verb rather than as a noun disaggregates lived experiences in ways that can account for important shifts in political positionalities which occur within the generation itself. It then highlights the struggles of ex-militant youth to navigate the shifting rules of a post-violence Niger Delta and the important roles that the politics of temporality plays in these struggles. In particular, it focusses on the innovative ways in which the over-youth (that is those who continue to circulate within the youthscape but who no longer socially fit therein) navigate the new social environment and how broader political competition across the country changes as a consequence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYouth, Inequality and Social Change in the Global South
EditorsHernan Cuervo, Ana Miranda
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789811337505
ISBN (Print)9789811337499
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2019

Publication series

NamePerspectives on Children and Young People
ISSN (Print)2365-2977
ISSN (Electronic)2365-2985


  • youth
  • violence
  • Niger Delta
  • time
  • peacebuilding


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