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Civil Society and the Political Imagination in Africa: Critical Perspectives

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Civil Society and the Political Imagination in Africa: Critical Perspectives Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The essays in this important new collection explore the diverse, unexpected, and controversial ways in which the idea of civil society has recently entered into populist politics and public debate throughout Africa.

In a substantial introduction, anthropologists Jean and John Comaroff offer a critical theoretical analysis of the nature and deployment of the concept—and the current debates surrounding it. Building on this framework, the contributors investigate the "problem" of civil society across their regions of expertise, which cover the continent. Drawing creatively on one another's work, they examine the impact of colonial ideology, postcoloniality, and development practice on discourses of civility, the workings of everyday politics, the construction of new modes of selfhood, and the pursuit of moral community.

Incisive and original, the book shows how struggles over civil society in Africa reveal much about larger historical forces in the post-Cold War era. It also makes a strong case for the contribution of historical anthropology to contemporary discourses on the rise of a "new world order."

Book News Annotation:

In spite of critical statements like V<'a>clav Havel's, that an age calling for civil society is also one risking a "new totalitarianism of consumption, commerce, and money," the notion of civil society continues to function as an important call-to-arms for democratic reform. This anthology explores the controversial ways in which the idea of civil society has recently entered into populist politics and public debate throughout Africa. Ten essays by scholars primarily in anthropology examine the impact of colonial ideology, postcoloniality, and third-world development practices on discourses of civility, also investigating the workings of everyday politics, constructions of new modes of selfhood, and the pursuit of a moral community.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Preface1. IntroductionJohn L. and Jean Comaroff2. Practicing Citizenship in Imperial ParisGary Wilder3. Developing Bushmen: Building Civil(ized) Society in the Kalahari and BeyondElizabeth Garland4. Civil Society and Its Presuppositions: Lessons from UgandaMikael Karlstrom5. Colonial Constructions- Historicizing Debates on Civil Society in AfricaWilliam Cunningham Bissell6. Stating Politisi: The Dialogues of Publicity and Secrecy in Sierra LeoneMariane Ferme7. Civil Lives: Leadership and Accomplishment in BotswanaDeborah Durham8. Debating Muslims, Disputed Practices: Struggles for the Realization of an Alternative Moral Order in NigerAdeline Masquelier9. Curl Up and Dye: Civil Society and the Fashion-Minded CitizenAmy Stambach10. IBB= 419: Nigerian Democracy and the Politics of IllusionAndrew ApterList of ContributorsIndex

About the Author

Jean Comaroff is the Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology and director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago. John L. Comaroff is the Harold W. Swift Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and a senior research fellow at the American Bar Foundation. Both are also honorary professors at the University of Cape Town.

Table of Contents

Preface

1. Introduction

John L. and Jean Comaroff

2. Practicing Citizenship in Imperial Paris

Gary Wilder

3. Developing Bushmen: Building Civil(ized) Society in the Kalahari and Beyond

Elizabeth Garland

4. Civil Society and Its Presuppositions: Lessons from Uganda

Mikael Karlström

5. Colonial Constructions- Historicizing Debates on Civil Society in Africa

William Cunningham Bissell

6. Stating Politisi: The Dialogues of Publicity and Secrecy in Sierra Leone

Mariane Ferme

7. Civil Lives: Leadership and Accomplishment in Botswana

Deborah Durham

8. Debating Muslims, Disputed Practices: Struggles for the Realization of an Alternative Moral Order in Niger

Adeline Masquelier

9. Curl Up and Dye: Civil Society and the Fashion-Minded Citizen

Amy Stambach

10. IBB= 419: Nigerian Democracy and the Politics of Illusion

Andrew Apter

List of Contributors

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226114149
Editor:
Comaroff, John L.; Comaroff, Jean
Editor:
Comaroff, Jean
Other:
Comaroff, John L.
Editor:
Comaroff, John L.
Editor:
Comaroff, Jean
Editor:
Comaroff, John L.; Comaroff, Jean
Author:
Comaroff, John L.
Author:
Comaroff, Jean
Other:
Comaroff, John L.
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Location:
Chicago :
Subject:
Africa
Subject:
Practical Politics
Subject:
Government (non-U.S.)
Subject:
Civil society
Subject:
Political Process - General
Subject:
Government - Comparative
Subject:
Civil society -- Africa.
Subject:
Politics - General
Edition Description:
1
Series Volume:
05-10927
Publication Date:
20000231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 halftones, 1 table
Pages:
329
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Africa » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies

Civil Society and the Political Imagination in Africa: Critical Perspectives New Trade Paper
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Product details 329 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226114149 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Preface1. IntroductionJohn L. and Jean Comaroff2. Practicing Citizenship in Imperial ParisGary Wilder3. Developing Bushmen: Building Civil(ized) Society in the Kalahari and BeyondElizabeth Garland4. Civil Society and Its Presuppositions: Lessons from UgandaMikael Karlstrom5. Colonial Constructions- Historicizing Debates on Civil Society in AfricaWilliam Cunningham Bissell6. Stating Politisi: The Dialogues of Publicity and Secrecy in Sierra LeoneMariane Ferme7. Civil Lives: Leadership and Accomplishment in BotswanaDeborah Durham8. Debating Muslims, Disputed Practices: Struggles for the Realization of an Alternative Moral Order in NigerAdeline Masquelier9. Curl Up and Dye: Civil Society and the Fashion-Minded CitizenAmy Stambach10. IBB= 419: Nigerian Democracy and the Politics of IllusionAndrew ApterList of ContributorsIndex
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