This article explores a key trope of economic stagnation and chronic joblessness in postcolonial Senegal: the image of “lazy” young men in the public sphere. This civic and moral discourse is critical of young men who allegedly drink tea “all day.” But this attitude elides the long history of youth protest against injustice, and excuses a state that has displaced the most strident critics of Senegalese neoliberalism by bribing them with overseas scholarships and government positions. This suggests that what some see as political and economic inactivity is manufactured through state-sponsored encadrement: techniques of trapping, quartering, and containing youth.

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