Issues in the Contemporary Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa: by G. Harrison

By G. Harrison

Graham Harrison investigates modern African politics via privileging the dynamics of political fight and resistance. during the research of peasant politics, debt and structural adjustment, democratization and identification politics, the writer indicates the significance of resistance and enterprise. unique stories of Mozambique, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso reveal how political association and resistance were heavily ingrained specifically post-colonial trajectories. An unique and fresh method of the learn of African politics, this may be an invaluable textbook for top point undergraduates and postgraduate students.

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Extra info for Issues in the Contemporary Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa: The Dynamics of Struggle and Resistance

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The analysis of modes of production can become rather abstract and complex, and its details will not detain us here (see Foster-Carter, 1978; Wolpe, 1972, 1980; Meillassoux, 1981; Seddon, 1978). But it is worth outlining the principal mechanisms of articulation as they impacted on peasant livelihoods. The principal means through which articulation was effected was migration (see also Chapter 5). Particularly in southern Africa, peasant societies were integrated into a migrant wage labour system, oriented around the plantations and mines of South Africa, but also in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

Perspectives on agrarian change: modes of production Consider the social location of peasant farmers during late colonialism (1960s onwards) or during independence: locked into a broader set of political–economic relations over which they have minimal control and which work in the interests of external and powerful forces, perhaps as far away as the main players on the coffee and cotton markets in Europe and America. Does this spell the beginning of a process of historical decline in peasant farming?

All of these latter ideas might not have been colonial strictly speaking, but they were certainly Western. The social experiences of these elites left them with a difficult relationship to peasant society. While claiming to represent ‘the masses’, at the eve of independence political leaders often had to fight for a place at the negotiating table over lineage chiefs from the countryside; and after independence, elites understood government in Western terms, consequently concerning themselves with plans, institution building and the consolidation of formal political power.

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