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By Patrick Chabal

During this publication, Patrick Chabal  discusses the restrictions of current political theories of Africa and proposes a special place to begin; arguing that political pondering must be pushed via the necessity to tackle the immediacy of lifestyle and death.  How do humans outline who they are?  the place do they belong?  What do they believe?  How do they try to outlive and enhance their lives?  what's the effect of sickness and poverty?  In doing so, Chabal proposes a notably diverse method of taking a look at politics in Africa and illuminates the methods usual humans "suffer and smile." this can be a hugely unique addition to Zed's groundbreaking worldwide Political Theories sequence.

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Additional info for Africa: The Politics of Suffering and Smiling (World Political Theories)

Example text

As for ‘colonial’ chiefs, they never acquired legitimate authority but they could sometimes exercise enormous power. The post-colonial transition confused matters even more since in most cases it amounted to a nationalist ‘coup’ by a generation of politicians that lacked either age or ‘traditional’ authority but who wielded virtually untrammelled power. Since then, not only have authority and power grown further apart but new questions have arisen about the legitimacy of politicians, and even of politics tout court.

This also leads me to make a few remarks about comparison. . I am aware that there is no objective method for determining, and agreeing on, what stands before our eyes. The same applies to the notion of ‘empirical’, which I use in this Introduction. These are issues I take up in Western Rationality after Post-Colonialism.  africa On the question of the Western gaze It is argued, often with great vigour, that Westerners are singularly ill suited to understanding Africa. This has partly to do with the colonial legacy, which I discuss below.

This explains why the consequences of the collapse of the community is to create congeries of individuals who do not belong, in the most profound sense, and who must find other groupings in order to regain their ‘humanity’. Where economic hardship destroys communities, those who are thrown out readily seek identity in religious groups, of which the Pentecostal churches are the most successful. Where violence tears out young people from their kinship associations, the company of killers often becomes the only relevant community to which they can belong – and which in turn defines who they are.

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