Africa Works: Disorder As Political Instrument

Paperback | January 22, 1999

byPatrick Chabal, Jean-pascal Daloz

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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 societies

African Issues, edited by Alex de Waal
February 1999 192 pp 5 ½ x 8 ½ Index

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From Our Editors

With the continued starvation, apartheid and economic ruin in Africa, the future of this vast continent looks bleak. What are the governments of African countries doing to improve their conditions? Africa Works examines the relationship between the rulers and the ruled in this comprehensive analysis. It also explores the importance of ...

From the Publisher

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 wi...

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.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.65 inPublished:January 22, 1999Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253212871

ISBN - 13:9780253212870

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Transitions and continuities: the question of analysis
I THE INFORMALISATION OF POLITICS
Whither the state?
The illusions of civil society
Recycled elites
II THE RE-TRADITIONALISATION OF SOCIETY
Of masks and men: the question of identity
The use and abuse of the irrational: witchcraft and religion
Warlords, bosses and thugs: the profits of violence
III THE PRODUCTIVITY OF ECONOMIC "FAILURE"
The moral economy of corruption
The bounties of dependence
"What if Africa refused to develop?"
Conclusion: A new paradigm: the political instrumentalisation of disorder

From Our Editors

With the continued starvation, apartheid and economic ruin in Africa, the future of this vast continent looks bleak. What are the governments of African countries doing to improve their conditions? Africa Works examines the relationship between the rulers and the ruled in this comprehensive analysis. It also explores the importance of religion and tribal politics and the possibility of modernizing Africa.