Nationalism, as an ideology coupling self-conscious peoples to fixed territories, is often seen as emerging from European historical developments, also in postcolonial countries outside Europe. André van Dokkum’s
Nationalism and Territoriality in Barue and Mozambique shows that this view is not universally true. The precolonial Kingdom of Barue in what is now Mozambique showed characteristics generally associated with nationalism, giving the country great resilience against colonial encroachment. Postcolonial Mozambique, on the other hand, has so far not succeeded in creating national coherence. The former anti-colonial organization and now party in power Frelimo has always stressed national unity, but only under its own guidance, paradoxically producing disunity.
Between the years 1964 and 1974, Ethiopian post-secondary students studying at home, in Europe, and in North America produced a number of journals. In these they explored the relationship between social theory and social change within the project of building a socialist Ethiopia.
Ethiopia in Theory examines the literature of this student movement, together with the movement’s afterlife in Ethiopian politics and society, in order to ask: what does it mean to write today about the appropriation and indigenisation of Marxist and mainstream social science ideas in an Ethiopian and African context; and, importantly, what does the archive of revolutionary thought in Africa teach us about the practice of critical theory more generally?