Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Speaking back to sovereign power


Raeymaekers, Timothy (2020). Speaking back to sovereign power. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 40(3):474-477.

Abstract

In this short commentary, I will reflect on the contributions of this special section from an Africanist perspective, which shows both similarities and differences with the South Asian experiences. For a long time, the dogma has been that African states do not wield full sovereign power over their citizens. Because most colonial states did not make any effort to extend administrative presence much beyond urban populations as well as a few sites of natural resource extraction, it is argued, their ability to control and administer territories and populations consequently remained largely irrelevant to the modern conception of sovereignty in Africa. In this short commentary I will try to place Africanist scholarship in comparative perspective by elaborating on postcolonial sovereignties and the way in which these remain nested in both historical and contemporary global formations. Starting from the failed states paradigm, I will dedicate some space to the so-called extraversion argument, or the idea that African sovereignties are predominantly exerted through external forces. I will elaborate finally on more recent work by some anthropologists and historians who focus their attention on how sovereign state institutions actually work in practice.

Abstract

In this short commentary, I will reflect on the contributions of this special section from an Africanist perspective, which shows both similarities and differences with the South Asian experiences. For a long time, the dogma has been that African states do not wield full sovereign power over their citizens. Because most colonial states did not make any effort to extend administrative presence much beyond urban populations as well as a few sites of natural resource extraction, it is argued, their ability to control and administer territories and populations consequently remained largely irrelevant to the modern conception of sovereignty in Africa. In this short commentary I will try to place Africanist scholarship in comparative perspective by elaborating on postcolonial sovereignties and the way in which these remain nested in both historical and contemporary global formations. Starting from the failed states paradigm, I will dedicate some space to the so-called extraversion argument, or the idea that African sovereignties are predominantly exerted through external forces. I will elaborate finally on more recent work by some anthropologists and historians who focus their attention on how sovereign state institutions actually work in practice.

Statistics

Citations

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 28 Jan 2021
1 download since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Geography, Planning and Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:Political Science and International Relations, Geography, Planning and Development, Development
Language:English
Date:1 December 2020
Deposited On:28 Jan 2021 13:30
Last Modified:29 Jan 2021 21:01
Publisher:Duke University Press
ISSN:1548-226X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-8747434

Download

Closed Access: Download allowed only for UZH members

Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 544kB
View at publisher