Olivier Douville : adolescent-fighters in « modern » wars

Using a clinical experience with adolescent survivors of civil wars in West Africa, the author introduces a series of clinical and anthropological analyses. Refusing any attempt to liken « modern » wars to ethnic wars, he returns to the particular status of the adolescent in the conflicts, and suggests guidelines for a rereading of the dimension of fraternal war and parricide, to show how the very question of identification (as result and as structure) is here made palpable. The adolescent scene summoned up by war is also destroyed in war. This raises the question of whether a youngster can accomplish the passage of adolescence as long as the trauma remains unelaborated.