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Volume II: Popculture, Environment, Colonialism and Migration
With Africa as its point of reference and departure, volume II of Africa's Radicalisms and Conservatisms examines why and how the two concepts – radicalisms and conservatisms – should not be taken as mere binaries around which to organize knowledge. It demonstrates that these concepts have multiple and diverse meanings as perceived and understood from different disciplinary vantage points, hence, the deliberate pluralization of the terms. The essays show what happens when one juxtaposes the two concepts and how they are easily intertwined when different peoples’ lived experiences of politics, pop-culture, democracy, liberalism, the environment, colonialism, migration, identities, and knowledge, etc. across the length and breadth of Africa are brought to bear on our understandings of these two particularisms.

Contributors are: Adesoji Oni, Admire M. Nyamwanza, Akin Tella, Akinpelu Ayokunnu Oyekunle, Bamidele Omotunde Alabi, Charles Nkem Okolie, Craig Calhoun, Diana Ekor Ofana, Edwin Etieyibo, Folusho Ayodeji, Gabriel Akinbode, Godwin Oboh, Joseph C. A. Agbakoba, Julius Niringiyimana, Lucky Uchenna Ogbonnaya, Maxwell Mudhara, Muchaparara Musemwa, Nathan Osareme Odiase, Obvious Katsaura, Okpowhoavotu Dan Ekere, Olaniran Olakunle Lateef, Omolara V. Akinyemi, Owen Mafongoya, Paramu Mafongoya, Philip Onyekachukwu Egbule, Rutanga Murindwa, Sandra Bhatasara, Takesure Taringana, Tunde A. Abioro, Victor Clement Nweke, William Muhumuza, and Zainab M. Olaitan.
Volume Editor: Pénélope Larzillière
Are artistic engagements evolving, or attracting more attention? The range of artistic protest actions shows how the globalisation of art is also the globalisation of art politics. Here, based on a multi-site field research, we follow artists from the MENA countries, Latin America, or Africa along their paths of commitment and transnational, voluntary trajectories or exiles. With this global and decentred approach, the different repertoires of engagement appear, in all their dimensions, including professional ones. In the face of political disillusionment, these aesthetic interventions take on new meanings, as artivists seek alternative modes of social transformation and production of shared values.

Contributors are: Alice Aterianus-Owanga, Sébastien Boulay, Sarah Dornhof, Simon Dubois, Shyam Iskander, Sabrina Melenotte, Franck Mermier, Rayane Al Rammal, Kirsten Scheid, Pinar Selek, and Marion Slitine.
State and Individual in Inner City Renewal and Urban Social Movement
Author: Yunqing SHI
In Becoming Citizens in China, Shi Yunqing describes the two interlinked histories that have made China’s urban and economic miracle: the unfolding process of inner city renewal and the production of citizens shaped by the collective rights defence actions in response to demolition and resettlement projects. Shi reveals a complex problematic tension between the state and the individual during China's social transition. This book is rigorously researched and draws on a rich body of materials. In this approach to State-Individual relationship, Shi Yunqing convincingly shows how citizens are produced in urban social movements against the backdrop of differences between Chinese and Western development histories. The production of citizens in “Chinese-style” produces insightful “local knowledge” and contributes to a new global sociology in general and the Post-Western sociology in particular.

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在《再造城民》这本书中,施芸卿讲述了造就中国城市和经济奇迹的两段互为表里的历史:旧城的再造与公民的生产。从国家和个人之间的相互形塑出发,她展现了中国社会转型的独特逻辑。本书有着极其详实的法律、政策文本和田野材料,以“国家—个人”关系为研究路径,施芸卿令人信服地解释了在与西方发展历史不同的中国背景下,公民如何从都市社会运动中产生。“中国式”的公民生产提供了富于洞见的本土知识,为新的全球社会学,尤其是后西方社会学研究做出了贡献。

Abstract

The ways in which accumulation tendencies have shaped the cooperative movement in Tanzania are not very clear. I show that conditions for the vibrancy, decline and revival of the cooperative movement have been shaped by the process of accumulation by dispossession, which is arguably Tanzania’s key socio-economic feature since colonialism. Within this process, co-operators are moulded into subjects – who readily internalize, modify, or abandon, certain cooperative thoughts and practices – through techniques which Foucault sums up as governmentality. Thus, in the early years of Tanzania’s cooperative movement, the vibrancy of Agricultural Crop Marketing Cooperatives was consistent with moulding co-operators to enhance crop production in order to facilitate (post)colonial accumulation through cash crop production. Likewise, since the 1980s the decline of these sorts of collective has been commensurate with the emerging vibrancy of Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies, a trend which is consistent with generalized accumulation under neoliberalism. This development can be illustrated as featuring a shift of emphasis from cash-crop production to marketization of whatever can be exchanged, including money.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

COVID-19 has highlighted the failure of the current monopoly market system of pharmaceutical industries to efficiently and equitably distribute lifesaving health commodities in a pandemic. The pre-purchasing of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 by high income countries (outside of the global coordinated effort called the COVAX facility) has led to inequitable access to vaccines globally. This may have contributed to the development of new COVID-19 variants of concern such as ‘Omicron’. Further, vaccine inequity has resulted in the poor suffering the worst health and economic outcomes of the pandemic. COVID-19 has deepened inequalities and increased global poverty. While high income countries are on a path to recovery with pre-pandemic growth rates forecast for 2022, low and middle income countries are still in economic recession, with growth rates forecast to remain at 5.5 percentage points below pre-pandemic levels by 2024. The Health Impact Fund approach offers an alternative, whereby pharmaceutical firms profit in proportion to their contribution to reducing the disease burden rather than through monopoly rents from product sales.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

In 1997, Tanzania’s National Cultural Policy recommended Kiswahili to be used as the medium of instruction for the entire nation’s public education system. However, since then English language maintains a hegemonic position as the medium of instruction in post-primary education. Arguably, this demonstrates cultural imperialism as a factor in the non-implementation of the cultural policy. We examine whether the global politics of expansionism and domination is causally responsible for the non-adoption of Kiswahili as the medium of instruction by making English a precious product and decisive tool for managing international politics. Political, economic and cultural institutions established by imperial powers have directly and indirectly shaped the language policy and its implementation. Consequently, elites in Tanzania have supported approaches that maintain English as the medium of instruction. Breaking away from the imperial structures that resist the adoption of Kiswahili as medium of instruction is central to any possibility for changing the prevailing situation.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

The meaning of democracy has traditionally been linked to the institutionalisation of public use of reason as jointly exercised by individuals who act in accordance with moral duty rather than one’s desires. For this reason, the meaning and value of democracy are always closely linked. Popular theories of democracy, however, have only treated democracy as instrumentally valuable – merely some disposable means towards achieving and solving problems of justice, freedom, equality, etc. This has called into question the usefulness of having democracy in the first place. My aim is to show that deliberation should be taken into account in ethical analyses of democracy. Thus, I demonstrate that the concept of deliberative democracy is ethically relevant – i.e., deserves moral consideration, enables us to treat democracy as inherently valuable (or something close to it), and subsequently preserves the value of democracy both in our political and moral theorising and in our ordinary dealings.

In: Utafiti
Free access
In: Utafiti

Abstract

Michael J. Sandel is a political and moral philosopher on the faculty of Harvard’s Department of Government. On World Philosophy Day 2021, Professor Sandel joined the University of Dar es Salaam by live-streamed video in a short question and answer session to celebrate the UN World Philosophy Day 2021. The questions referred to three of Sandel’s books, The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? (2020) What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (2012) and Justice: What’s the right thing to do? (2010), volumes that have been translated in over thirty languages. Sandel’s lectures have packed St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and an outdoor stadium in Seoul, South Korea where 14,000 came to one event to hear him speak. Discussants included convener Dr. Josephat Muhoza, a senior member of the UDSM Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Dr. Philbert Komu and Mr. Shija Kuhumba, faculty members of the department, philosophy students, and other members of the audience, also posed questions.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

When life circumstances change, language use will definitely change to reflect those new developments. Over 2020–2021, strategies adopted by Kiswahili users in Tanzania resulted in new linguistic features of the nation’s lingua franca in response to COVID-19. New communication strategies were necessary for two reasons: the contagion was novel; and the pandemic was presented as an unprecedented threat to human life that necessitated, politically and socially, unprecedented warnings and prohibitions. As a result, at some point political persuasions and alliances affected the way people talked about the contagion. Due to structural and procedural changes imposed by the pandemic, there emerged some new expressions and an increase in the frequency of use of other expressions.

In: Utafiti