Big Bob is Watching You - Perceptions of the risk of state harassments and state surveillance by human rights defenders and their room for navigation in the context of the 2013 elections in Zimbabwe.
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In a quest to uncover social facts - the underlying invisible laws that govern social life - this thesis focuses on how Zimbabwean human rights defenders (HRDs) give meaning to the highly militarized regime they live under and how they imagine their role in that structure. Specifically, this thesis analyses how the negative potentiality of state harassments and the invisible force of state surveillance carried out by the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) are perceived by HRDs in the run-up and aftermath of the contested 2013 elections, using Vigh’s theoretical framework on vigilance in crises as context. However, the normalization of crisis does not lead to indifference to disorder – passionate Zimbabwean HRDs that try to challenge injustice try to anticipate what is coming and attune their action accordingly by making use of ‘intel’ from within the CIO.