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

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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....

Title : Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History)
Author :
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ISBN : 9780691027937
ISBN13 : 978-0691027937
Format Type : Hardcover
Language : Englisch
Publisher : Princeton University Press 1 April 1996
Number of Pages : 368 Seiten
File Size : 999 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

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

  • None
    2019-07-18 14:37

    Mamdani succeeds in breaking the colonial political system into pieces drawing the distinction between urban direct rule which spoke the language of civil society and civil rights, and rural indirect rule, which spoke of community and culture and describes them as different faces of the bifurcated colonial state. This bifurcated system dissipated with Independence revealing the need of a new agenda for the newly created state. The first duty of the state was to bring together the different stratums in the society for the reconstruction of a both ethnical and political identity. Democracy was the prescribed solution to react against apartheid and a tribalized native society. Mamdani's claims that whereas democratization brought winds that will remove erstwhile privileges inherited from a colonial, white dominated central power; it failed to conquer the system that kept the peasants under the hold of a tribal authority.

  • None
    2019-06-23 22:23

    Mamdani succeeds in breaking the colonial political system into pieces drawing the distinction between urban direct rule which spoke the language of civil society and civil rights, and rural indirect rule, which spoke of community and culture and describes them as different faces of the bifurcated colonial state. This bifurcated system dissipated with Independence revealing the need of a new agenda for the newly created state. The first duty of the state was to bring together the different stratums in the society for the reconstruction of a both ethnical and political identity. Democracy was the prescribed solution to react against apartheid and a tribalized native society. Mamdani's claims that whereas democratization brought winds that will remove erstwhile privileges inherited from a colonial, white dominated central power; it failed to conquer the system that kept the peasants under the hold of a tribal authorit

  • David Munyua
    2019-06-29 15:24

    Interesting book for African studies

  • None
    2019-07-18 17:48

    Mamdani succeeds in breaking the colonial political system into pieces drawing the distinction between urban direct rule which spoke the language of civil society and civil rights, and rural indirect rule, which spoke of community and culture and describes them as different faces of the bifurcated colonial state. This bifurcated system dissipated with Independence revealing the need of a new agenda for the newly created state. The first duty of the state was to bring together the different stratums in the society for the reconstruction of a both ethnical and political identity. Democracy was the prescribed solution to react against apartheid and a tribalized native society. Mamdani's claims that whereas democratization brought winds that will remove erstwhile privileges inherited from a colonial, white dominated central power; it failed to conquer the system that kept the peasants under the hold of a tribal authority.

  • None
    2019-06-28 17:32

    Mamdani succeeds in breaking the colonial political system into pieces drawing the distinction between urban direct rule which spoke the language of civil society and civil rights, and rural indirect rule, which spoke of community and culture and describes them as different faces of the bifurcated colonial state. This bifurcated system dissipated with Independence revealing the need of a new agenda for the newly created state. The first duty of the state was to bring together the different stratums in the society for the reconstruction of a both ethnical and political identity. Democracy was the prescribed solution to react against apartheid and a tribalized native society. Mamdani's claims that whereas democratization brought winds that will remove erstwhile privileges inherited from a colonial, white dominated central power; it failed to conquer the system that kept the peasants under the hold of a tribal authorit

  • Jeff D
    2019-07-08 15:26

    CONTEXT: Mamdani's starting point is that colonialism caused a profoundly negative impact on African societies, and this impact is evident in the dysfunctional African states of the modern era, wherein governments struggle for legitimacy while civil unrest and low living standards are commonplace.OVERALL: Ultimately Mamdani does not succeed in proving his thesis, and for this 3 stars might be appropriate, but the educational value is so high and the sources so comprehensive that I give 4. The writing style is somewhat dense and occasionally opaque, the volume is a little more than it needs to be to impart the message. The worst of this is the introduction, which may be best to skip. The conclusion is a bit tinged with the short-lived post-Cold War idea that democracy is the answer for everything.CONTENT:Mamdani identifies the "bifurcated state" as a result of calculated colonial policy to most efficiently rule African colonies. In urban centers, individual liberties were defined and enforced, as in Western civil law. Customary law held sway in the hinterlands, however, and it was the key aspect of Indirect Rule, imported by the British from Asia. It dictated what claims the state had a right to make on individuals. Thus customary law was a means of controlling society, including land, women, animal herds, water, forest, etc. It was disguised as traditional practice because it was administered by the Native Authority - African "chiefs" acting as colonial agents. In reality it was malleable so as to ensure achieving colonial ends, which were essentially maintaining order, tax revenue, and labor supply.Historically, there were significant institutionalized cultural restraints on the power of chiefs. The colonials liberated the chiefs from these by "fusing" all administrative power and bequeathing it to the Native Authority positions. As long as the chiefs kept the colonials satisfied, they retained unprecedented coercive power over society that they could exercise for their own agendas. Mamdani terms the result of this arrangement "decentralized despotism." His charge is that this structure was so robust as to remain intact even after colonial departure. Mamdani's solution is essentially democracy, though without specifics on how to implement effectively.The main failing is trying to explain all of Africa while actually focusing on South Africa. The colonial experience was very different in various regions and Mamdani is unable to align this fact with his model. His example of Liberia does more to refute his theory than support it. Ethiopia lies completely outside the model, and North Africa is ignored. Authors like Philip Curtin do a better job contrasting regional differences.Mamdani tries to examine Africa in a Petry dish, but it is part of a global dynamic, which Jared Diamond (for one) has more to say about. Mamdani does not acknowledge broad inertias that shape societies outside the particular African colonial impacts. This includes geographical and logistical factors, for example. There is also little acknowledgment of economic factors having much to do with keeping Africa down after independence.There are some fantastic insights in this book, for example, regarding the evolution of a norm of violence in Africa, the inner workings of Indirect Rule, the role of clientelism in Africa's bloodthirsty domestic politics, the vicious cycle of colonial budget desires driving repression of Africans and incurring further costs.This book is not a light read. There is so much of the content that is worthwhile, it just doesn't add up to the grand unifying explanation for Africa that Mamdani wants. Africa is so vast, vibrant, and diverse that it should be no surprise that the pieces don't all fit nicely together. Yet Mamdani's audacious attempt succeeds in another way by making the reader a lot smarter about some important elements of modern Africa, not to mention providing quite an extensive trove of sources for exploration.