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Civil Society

  • Patrick Chabal

Abstract

The notion of civil society, like that of the state, is not new to political theory.2 It is now being introduced into the political analysis of Africa largely because the (over)emphasis on the role of the state has led to a definition of the political sphere as being virtually coterminous with the politics of the state. As the interpretative capacity of state-centred conceptual frameworks has decreased over time, it has become quite evident that political scientists have been led astray by the mirage of high politics: constitutions, parties, governments, parliaments, ideology, etc.

Keywords

Civil Society African State Colonial Rule African Society Colonial State 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    In this chapter I am inspired by Bayart’s work: Bayart, 1979 and 1989; ‘La politique par le bas en Afrique noire’, Politique africaine, 1 (1981); ‘La revanche des sociétés africaines’, Politique africaine, 11 (1983); ‘Les sociétés africaines face à l’État’, Pouvoirs, 25 (1983); ‘La société politique camerounaise (1982–1986)’, Politique africaine, 22 (1986); ‘L’hypothése totalitaire dans le Tiers Monde’, in G. Hermet (ed.), Totalitarismes (Paris: Economica, 1984)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    On civil society: P. Clastres, La société contre l’État (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1974)Google Scholar
  3. C. Lefort, L’invention démocratique (Paris: Fayard, 1981)Google Scholar
  4. M. Foucault, La volonté de savoir (Paris: Gallimard, 1976)Google Scholar
  5. M. de Certeau, L’invention du quotidien (Paris: UGE, 1980)Google Scholar
  6. G. Althabe, Oppression et libération dans l’imaginaire (Paris: Maspéro, 1969)Google Scholar
  7. M. Augé, Théorie des pouvoirs et idéologie (Paris: Hermann, 1975)Google Scholar
  8. 19.
    There is some similarity here with the situation in Eastern Europe before 1990: on how Solidarity became the voice of civil society, see Lech Walesa, Un chemin d’espoir (Paris: Fayard, 1987).Google Scholar
  9. 20.
    On students’ political role: W. Hanna, University Students and African Politics (New York: Africans, 1975)Google Scholar
  10. 24.
    I. Kopytoff (ed.), The African Frontier (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987).Google Scholar
  11. 27.
    Mau-Mau is a clear example: R. Buijtenhuijs, Le mouvement ‘Mau-Mau’: une révolte paysanne et anticoloniale en Afrique noire (The Hague: Mouton, 1971)Google Scholar
  12. D.L. Barnett and K. Njama, Mau Mau from Within (New York: Modern Reader, 1970)Google Scholar
  13. C. Rosberg and J. Nottingham, The Myth of Mau Mau: Nationalism in Kenya (New York: Praeger, 1966)Google Scholar
  14. D. Throup, Economic and Social Origins of Mau-Mau, 1945–1953 (London: Currey, 1 987)Google Scholar
  15. T. Kanogo, Squatters and the Roots of Mau-Mau, 1905–1963 (London: Currey, 1987).Google Scholar
  16. 28.
    See here Cabral’s comments in ‘Resistência Cultural’, in Analise de Alguns Tipos de Resistência (Lisbon: Seara Nova, 1974).Google Scholar
  17. 30.
    On India: L. and S. Rudolph, The Modernity of Tradition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967)Google Scholar
  18. E. Shils, The Indian Intellectual between Tradition and Modernity (The Hague: Mouton, 1961)Google Scholar
  19. M. Singer, When a Great Tradition Modernizes (London: Pall Mall, 1972).Google Scholar
  20. 47.
    See J. Lonsdale (ed.), South Africa in Question (London: Currey, 1988).Google Scholar
  21. 52.
    See M. Watts, Silent Violence (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  22. 53.
    Iliffe, 1987; Polly Hill, Dry Grain Farming Families (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Patrick Chabal 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Chabal
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s College LondonUK

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