Citizen and Subject Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism
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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, 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.
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All the information you need in one place! Each Study Brief is a summary of one specific subject; facts, figures, and explanations to help you learn faster.
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 4/21/1996
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Mahmood Mamdani is Director of Makerere Institute of Social Research at Makerere University and Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at Columbia University
|Introduction: Thinking through Africa's Impasse|
|The Structure of Power|
|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|