Africa Works

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-04-01
  • Publisher: Indiana Univ Pr

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How do political systems in Africa work? Is the "real" business of politics taking place outside the scope of standard political analysis, in an "informal" or more personalised setting? How are the prospects for reform and renewal in African societies affected by the emerging elites? Is "modernisation" in Africa different? Are there within African countries social, political and cultural factors which aspire to the continuation of patrimony and conspire against economic development?Relations of power between rulers and the ruled continue to inform the role of the state and the expectations of the newly emphasized civil society. The question of identity, the resurgence of ethnicity and its attendant "tribal" politics, the growing importance of African religions and the increasing resort to extreme and often ritualised violence in situations of civil disorder, point to a process of "re-traditionalising" in African societiesAfrican Issues, edited by Alex de WaalFebruary 1999 192 pp 5 x 8 Index

Author Biography

Patrick Chabal is Professor of Lusophone African Studies at King's College, London.

Jean-Pascal Daloz is a Senior CNRS Researcher at the Centre d'Etude d'Afrique Noire in Bordeaux.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xi
Note On The Authors xiii
Introduction: The Question of Analysis xv
I The Informalization of Politics 1(44)
W(h)ither the State?
The Illusions of Civil Society
Recycled Elites
II The 'Re-traditionalization' of Society 45(48)
Of Masks & Men: the Question of Identity
The Taming of the Irrational: Witchcraft & Religion
Crime & Enrichment: the Profits of Violence
III The Productivity of Economic 'Failure' 93(46)
The Ab(use) of Corruption
The Bounties of Dependence
The (in) significance of Development
IV A New Paradigm 139(25)
The Political Instrumentalization of Disorder
Bibliography 164(3)
Index 167

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