On the Concepts of Disorder, Retraditionalization, and Crisis in African Studies

Kasereka Kavwahirehi


Over the last two decades, concepts of “disorder as political instrument in Africa,” “politics of belly,” and “re-traditionalization” (Chabal, Daloz, 199) have been used and reused in African studies by European and African scholars to describe the African social and political condition of the last decades. However, despite their canonization, one can question their efficiency and relevance to the analysis and understanding of what is really happening in postcolonial Africa. One might even wonder if these analytical concepts are not reawakening the imaginary of the colonial anthropology which pathologized the “Dark Continent” in order to enclose it in its difference and represent it as the absolute alterity as Hegel did in his philosophical ethnography.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jffp.2016.760

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