This study is the second part of a research project on violence in Haiti. The project was started after President Aristide’s departure into exile in early 2004 and the arrival of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Researchers, political analysts, the international community and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have generally focused their attention on political violence in Haiti, perhaps because of its high visibility and the human toll it has taken in a relatively brief period. Political violence is nevertheless discontinuous and event-related. Coups d’état, electoral violence and food riots are not ongoing occurrences.
While the first part of the project, conducted in 2007, considered political violence, this part looks at day-to-day social relations in communities in order to enhance understanding of the recurring nature of political violence. Two sets of questions need to be ad-dressed. First, what are the types of relationships between the elites and the masses that allow the former to rely on the latter for the purposes of political mobilization in the form of violent demonstrations? Second, what are the characteristics of the social pro-cesses in suburban communities that predispose them to take part in such mobilizations? The present report addresses the second question.