ISBN 9789956762071
Pages 84
Dimensions 203 x 127mm
Published 2015
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Modernising Traditions and Traditionalising Modernity in Africa

Chieftaincy and Democracy in Cameroon and Botswana

by Francis B. Nyamnjoh

Chieftaincy in Africa has displayed remarkable dynamics and adaptability to new socio-economic and political developments, without becoming totally transformed in the process. Almost everywhere on the continent, chiefdoms and chiefs have become active agents in the quest for ethnic, cultural symbols as a way of maximising opportunities at the centre of bureaucratic and state power, and at the home village where control over land and labour often require both financial and symbolic capital. Chieftaincy remains central to ongoing efforts at developing democracy and accountability in line with the expectations of Africans as individual 'citizens' and also as 'subjects' of various cultural communities.

This book uses Cameroon and Botswana as case studies, to argue that the rigidity and prescriptiveness of modernist partial theories have left a major gap in scholarship on chiefs and chieftaincy in Africa. It stresses that studies of domesticated agency in Africa are sorely needed to capture the creative ongoing processes and to avoid over-emphasising structures and essentialist perceptions on chieftaincy and the cultural communities that claim and are claimed by it.

Book Preview

Available from these stores

Don't see your favourite store? Our eBooks are available from many more retailers, simply search with the ISBN to find it somewhere else.

About the Author

Francis B. Nyamnjoh

Francis B. Nyamnjoh joined the University of Cape Town in August 2009 as Professor of Social Anthropology from the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal, where he served as Head of Publications from July 2003 to July 2009. He has taught sociology, anthropology and communication studies at universities in Cameroon and Botswana, and has researched and written extensively on Cameroon and Botswana. In October 2012 he received a University of Cape Town Excellence Award for “Exceptional Contribution as a Professor in the Faculty of Humanities”. He is recipient of the “ASU African Hero 2013” annual award by the African Students Union, Ohio University, USA. He is: a B1 rated Professor and Researcher by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF); a Fellow of the Cameroon Academy of Science since August 2011; a fellow of the African Academy of Science since December 2014; a fellow of the Academy of Science of South Africa since 2016; and Chair of the Editorial Board of the South African Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Press since January 2011. His scholarly books include: Africa’s Media, Democracy and the Politics of Belonging (2005); Insiders and Outsiders: Citizenship and Xenophobia in Contemporary Southern Africa (2006); “C'est l'homme qui fait l'homme”: Cul-de-Sac Ubuntu-ism in Côte d'Ivoire (2015); and #RhodesMustFall: Nibbling at Resilient Colonialism in South Africa (2016).

Related Books