G.J. Abbink and A.van Dokkum (eds.)
Leiden: African Studies Centre, African studies collection 12, 2008.
This book presents new empirically based and theoretically informed studies on the contemporary social and economic dynamics of Africa, dealing with developments in the arenas of politics, economics and cultural struggle. These domains are closely interlinked. In their widest definition, culture and politics intermingle and recombine in surprising and sometimes disturbing ways. They always have a definite economic logic as well, informing value commitments and behaviour in the broader sense. Politics and economic life in Africa have, perhaps more visibly than elsewhere, influential and cultural aspects and referents, such as religion and ethnicity, which often play a constitutive role. ‘Culture’ and its symbolism are used instrumentally in the political, economic and social struggles in today’s Africa, marked by a preoccupation with ‘development’. The studies in this book underline the interplay of new hegemomic struggles of a material but also ideological nature.