Citizen and Subject Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism

ISBN-10: 0691027935
ISBN-13: 9780691027937
Edition: 1996
Authors: Mahmood Mamdani
List price: $46.00
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Description: 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,  More...

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Book details

List price: $46.00
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 4/21/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

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.

Mahmood Mamdani is Director of Makerere Institute of Social Research at Makerere University and Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Thinking through Africa's Impasse
The Structure of Power
Decentralized Despotism
Indirect Rule: The Politics of Decentralized Despotism
Customary Law: The Theory of Decentralized Despotism
The Native Authority and the Free Peasantry
The Anatomy of Resistance
The Other Face of Tribalism: Peasant Movements in Equatorial Africa
The Rural in the Urban: Migrant Workers in South Africa
Conclusion: Linking the Urban and the Rural
Notes
Index

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