Trade unions, burial societies, students, religious and gender movements, riots and mafias. Not to mention class. The kaleidoscope of African social movements is complex and broad. But their histories have strong common threads – the experience of past oppression and the constant struggle for an identity that will encompass survival. How have they contributed to the nature of African civil society and the formation of democracy? The chapters are a living dialogue on the interpretation of these movements, and a critical and analytical appraisal of the African intellectual heritage itself. The book brings together a vast array of writers and topics from all over Africa – from bread riots in Tunisia, Communist Parties in Sudan, the “Kaduna Mafia” in Nigeria, burial societies in Zimbabwe, and the working class in Algeria.
Mahmood Mamdani is the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government in the Departments of Anthropology and Political Science at Columbia University in the United States. He is also the Director of Columbia’s Institute of African Studies. He is the current President of the Council for Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA) Dakar, Senegal.
Mamdani’s reputation as an expert in African history, politics and international relations has made him an important voice in contemporary debates about Africa.
His book Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism won the 1998 Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association of the USA.
In 2001, he was one of nine scholars to present at the Nobel Peace Prize Centennial Symposium.