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Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In analyzing the obstacles to democratization in post- independence Africa, Mahmood Mamdani offers a bold, insightful account of colonialism's legacy--a bifurcated power that mediated racial domination through tribally organized local authorities, reproducing racial identity in citizens and ethnic identity in subjects. Many writers have understood colonial rule as either "direct" (French) or "indirect" (British), with a third variant--apartheid--as exceptional. This benign terminology, Mamdani shows, masks the fact that these were actually variants of a despotism. While direct rule denied rights to subjects on racial grounds, indirect rule incorporated them into a "customary" mode of rule, with state-appointed Native Authorities defining custom. By tapping authoritarian possibilities in culture, and by giving culture an authoritarian bent, indirect rule (decentralized despotism) set the pace for Africa; the French followed suit by changing from direct to indirect administration, while apartheid emerged relatively later. Apartheid, Mamdani shows, was actually the generic form of the colonial state in Africa.

Through case studies of rural (Uganda) and urban (South Africa) resistance movements, we learn how these institutional features fragment resistance and how states tend to play off reform in one sector against repression in the other. Reforming a power that institutionally enforces tension between town and country, and between ethnicities, is the key challenge for anyone interested in democratic reform in Africa.

Synopsis:

In analyzing the obstacles to democratization in post- independence Africa, Mahmood Mamdani offers a bold, insightful account of colonialism's legacy--a bifurcated power that mediated racial domination through tribally organized local authorities, reproducing racial identity in citizens and ethnic identity in subjects. Many writers have understood colonial rule as either "direct" (French) or "indirect" (British), with a third variant--apartheid--as exceptional. This benign terminology, Mamdani shows, masks the fact that these were actually variants of a despotism. While direct rule denied rights to subjects on racial grounds, indirect rule incorporated them into a "customary" mode of rule, with state-appointed Native Authorities defining custom. By tapping authoritarian possibilities in culture, and by giving culture an authoritarian bent, indirect rule (decentralized despotism) set the pace for Africa; the French followed suit by changing from direct to indirect administration, while apartheid emerged relatively later. Apartheid, Mamdani shows, was actually the generic form of the colonial state in Africa.

Through case studies of rural (Uganda) and urban (South Africa) resistance movements, we learn how these institutional features fragment resistance and how states tend to play off reform in one sector against repression in the other. Reforming a power that institutionally enforces tension between town and country, and between ethnicities, is the key challenge for anyone interested in democratic reform in Africa.

Synopsis:

In this provocative analysis of the obstacles to democratization in post-independence Africa, Mahmood Mamdani offers a bold, insightful account of colonialism's legacy: a bifurcated power that mediated racial domination through tribally organized local authorities, reproducing racial identity in citizens and ethnic identity in subjects. By tapping authoritarian possibilities in culture, and by giving culture an authoritarian bent, British indirect rule (decentralized despotism) set the pace for Africa; other colonial powers followed suit, South Africa being the last. Apartheid, Mamdani maintains, was actually the generic form of the colonial state in Africa.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [303]-337) and index.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
IIntroduction: Thinking through Africa's Impasse3
Pt. IThe Structure of Power35
IIDecentralized Despotism37
IIIIndirect Rule: The Politics of Decentralized Despotism62
IVCustomary Law: The Theory of Decentralized Despotism109
VThe Native Authority and the Free Peasantry138
Pt. IIThe Anatomy of Resistance181
VIThe Other Face of Tribalism: Peasant Movements in Equatorial Africa183
VIIThe Rural in the Urban: Migrant Workers in South Africa218
VIIIConclusion: Linking the Urban and the Rural285
Notes303
Index339

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691027937
Author:
Mamdani, Mahmood
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton, N.J. :
Subject:
Africa
Subject:
History
Subject:
International Relations
Subject:
Practical Politics
Subject:
Democracy
Subject:
Despotism
Subject:
Colonies
Subject:
Indigenous peoples
Subject:
Apartheid
Subject:
Indigenous peoples -- Africa.
Subject:
Despotism -- Africa.
Subject:
Afrique
Subject:
Dâemocratie
Subject:
Râesistance au gouvernement
Subject:
Despotisme
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Subject:
Political Process - General
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
Postcolonial Studies
Subject:
Africa Politics and government.
Subject:
Africa Colonial influence.
Subject:
Politics-United States Foreign Policy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History (Paperback)
Series Volume:
L
Publication Date:
April 1996
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
344
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 19 oz

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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 » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » World History » Africa

Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History) New Trade Paper
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Product details 344 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691027937 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In analyzing the obstacles to democratization in post- independence Africa, Mahmood Mamdani offers a bold, insightful account of colonialism's legacy--a bifurcated power that mediated racial domination through tribally organized local authorities, reproducing racial identity in citizens and ethnic identity in subjects. Many writers have understood colonial rule as either "direct" (French) or "indirect" (British), with a third variant--apartheid--as exceptional. This benign terminology, Mamdani shows, masks the fact that these were actually variants of a despotism. While direct rule denied rights to subjects on racial grounds, indirect rule incorporated them into a "customary" mode of rule, with state-appointed Native Authorities defining custom. By tapping authoritarian possibilities in culture, and by giving culture an authoritarian bent, indirect rule (decentralized despotism) set the pace for Africa; the French followed suit by changing from direct to indirect administration, while apartheid emerged relatively later. Apartheid, Mamdani shows, was actually the generic form of the colonial state in Africa.

Through case studies of rural (Uganda) and urban (South Africa) resistance movements, we learn how these institutional features fragment resistance and how states tend to play off reform in one sector against repression in the other. Reforming a power that institutionally enforces tension between town and country, and between ethnicities, is the key challenge for anyone interested in democratic reform in Africa.

"Synopsis" by , In this provocative analysis of the obstacles to democratization in post-independence Africa, Mahmood Mamdani offers a bold, insightful account of colonialism's legacy: a bifurcated power that mediated racial domination through tribally organized local authorities, reproducing racial identity in citizens and ethnic identity in subjects. By tapping authoritarian possibilities in culture, and by giving culture an authoritarian bent, British indirect rule (decentralized despotism) set the pace for Africa; other colonial powers followed suit, South Africa being the last. Apartheid, Mamdani maintains, was actually the generic form of the colonial state in Africa.
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