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Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin

Archaeology, History and Memory

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Edited by Anne Haour

In Two Thousand Years in Dendi, Northern Benin an international team examines a little-known part of the Niger River valley, West Africa, over the longue durée. This area, known as Dendi, has often been portrayed as the crossroads of major West African medieval empires but this understanding has been based on a small number of very patchy historical sources. Working from the ground up, from the archaeological sites, standing remains, oral traditions and craft industries of Dendi, Haour and her team offer the first in-depth account of the area.

Contributors are: Paul Adderley, Mardjoua Barpougouni, Victor Brunfaut, Louis Champion, Annalisa Christie, Barbara Eichhorn, Anne Filippini, Dorian Fuller, Olivier Gosselain, David Kay, Nadia Khalaf, Nestor Labiyi, Raoul Laibi, Richard Lee, Veerle Linseele, Alexandre Livingstone Smith, Carlos Magnavita, Sonja Magnavita, Didier N'Dah, Nicolas Nikis, Sam Nixon, Franck N’Po Takpara, Jean-François Pinet, Ronika Power, Caroline Robion-Brunner, Lucie Smolderen, Abubakar Sule Sani, Romuald Tchibozo, Jennifer Wexler, Wim Wouters.

South Africa after Apartheid

Policies and Challenges of the Democratic Transition

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Edited by Arrigo Pallotti and Ulf Engel

As South Africa has entered the third decade after the end of apartheid, this book aims at taking stock of the post-apartheid dynamics in the, so far, often less-comprehensively analysed, but crucial fields of APRM-relevant politics, social development, land and regional relations. In the first part of the book an analysis of some structuring domestic features of post-apartheid South Africa is provided, with a focus on political processes and debates around gender, HIV/AIDS and religion. The second part of the volume focuses on the land question and part three is looking at South Africa’s role in the Southern African region.

Contributors are: Nancy Andrew, Nicholas Dietrich, Ulf Engel, Harvey M. Feinberg, Anna-Maria Gentili, Preben Kaarsholm, Mandisa Mbali, David Moore, Arrigo Pallotti, Roberta Pellizzoli, Chris Saunders, Timothy Scarnecchia, Cherryl Walker, Lorenzo Zambernardi, and Mario Zamponi.

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Dorrit van Dalen

The seventeenth century was a period of major social change in central sudanic Africa. Islam spread from royal courts to rural communities, leading to new identities, new boundaries and new tasks for experts of the religion. Addressing these issues, the Bornu scholar Muḥammad al-Wālī acquired an exceptional reputation. Dorrit van Dalen’s study places him within his intellectual environment, and portrays him as responding to the concerns of ordinary Muslims. It shows that scholars on the geographical margins of the Muslim world participated in the debates in the centres of Muslim learning of the time, but on their own terms. Al-Wālī’s work also sheds light on a century in the Islamic history of West Africa that has until now received little attention.

Conquest and Construction

Palace Architecture in Northern Cameroon

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Mark DeLancey

In Conquest and Construction Mark Dike DeLancey investigates the palace architecture of northern Cameroon, a region that was conquered in the early nineteenth century by primarily semi-nomadic, pastoralist, Muslim, Fulɓe forces and incorporated as the largest emirate of the Sokoto Caliphate. Palace architecture is considered first and foremost as political in nature, and therefore as responding not only to the needs and expectations of the conquerors, but also to those of the largely sedentary, agricultural, non-Muslim conquered peoples who constituted the majority population. In the process of reconciling the cultures of these various constituents, new architectural forms and local identities were constructed.

A Decade of Mozambique

Politics, Economy and Society 2004-2013

Joseph Hanlon

This chronology for 2004 to 2013 compiles the chapters on Mozambique previously published in the Africa Yearbook. Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara. The country has over the years remained one of the poorest, and poverty is not declining. But the discovery of huge gas fields could bring changes by the mid 2020s. During the period under review, the sheen began to fade from Mozambique's status as a donor darling, as donors increasingly objected to corruption while government was angered by donor impositions and took an increasingly autonomous line. The former liberation movement Frelimo remains the predominant party and has won all national elections, while two presidents have stepped down after two terms. The main opposition party Renamo retains an armed wing launching small military actions. A second opposition party gained control of four cities. A younger and better-educated generation that remembers neither the liberation struggle nor the 1982-92 civil war is beginning to challenge the established leadership.

African Roads to Prosperity

People en Route to Socio-Cultural and Economic Transformations

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Edited by Akinyinka Akinyoade and Jan-Bart Gewald

This book brings together in a comparative analysis the results of studies of the various cultural, social, economic and historical aspects that are formative in African societies’ experiences of how people negotiated the spaces and times of being in transit on the road to prosperity.
The book analyses the various outcomes of the process of mobility and the experience of spaces and times of transit across gender, generational, and class-differences. These experiences are explored and give insight into the socio-cultural and economics transformations that have taken place in African societies in the past century.

Contributors are:
Akinyinka Akinyoade, Walter van Beek, Marleen Dekker, Ton Dietz, Rijk van Dijk, Isaie Dougnon, Jan-Bart Gewald, Meike de Goede, Benjamin Kofi Nyarko, Samuel Ntewusu Aniegye, Taiwo Olabisi Oluwatoyin, Shehu Tijjani Yusuf, Augustine Tanle and Amisah Zenabu Bakuri.

Saladin, the Almohads and the Banū Ghāniya

The Contest for North Africa (12th and 13th centuries)

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Amar S. Baadj

In Saladin, the Almohads and the Banū Ghāniya, Amar Baadj gives us the first comprehensive, modern study of a fascinating but little-known episode in the history of the medieval Mediterranean. This is the story of the long struggle between the Almohad caliphs of the Maghrib, the Banū Ghāniya of Majorca, and the Ayyubids for dominance of North Africa.

The author makes use of important textual sources that have been ignored as well as new archaeological evidence to challenge some of the basic assumptions about the events in question. He also successfully places these events in their wider temporal and geographical context for the first time.

Colonial Survey and Native Landscapes in Rural South Africa, 1850 - 1913

The Politics of Divided Space in the Cape and Transvaal

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Lindsay F. Braun

In Colonial Survey and Native Landscapes in Rural South Africa, 1850 - 1913, Lindsay Frederick Braun explores the technical processes and struggles surrounding the creation and maintenance of boundaries and spaces in South Africa in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The precision of surveyors and other colonial technicians lent these enterprises an illusion of irreproachable objectivity and authority, even though the reality was far messier.

Using a wide range of archival and printed materials from survey departments, repositories, and libraries, the author presents two distinct episodes of struggle over lands and livelihoods, one from the Eastern Cape and one from the former northern Transvaal. These cases expose the contingencies, contests, and negotiations that fundamentally shaped these changing South African landscapes.

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya

A Social History of the Shifta Conflict, c. 1963-1968

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Hannah Whittaker

In Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Kenya, Hannah Whittaker offers an in-depth analysis of the Somali secessionist war in northern Kenya, 1963-68. Combining archival and oral data, the work captures the complexity of the conflict, which combined a series of local, national and regional confrontations. The conflict was not, Whittaker argues, evidence of the potency of Somali nationalism, but rather an early expression of its failure. The book also deals with the Kenyan government’s response to the conflict as part of the entrenchment of African colonial boundaries at independence. Contrary to current narratives of an increasingly borderless world, Whittaker reminds us of the violence that is produced by state-led attempts to shore up contested borderlands. This work provides vital insights into the history behind the on-going troubled relationship between the Kenyan state and its Somali minority, and between Kenya and Somalia.

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Edited by Akinyinka Akinyoade, Wijnand Klaver, Sebastiaan Soeters and Dick Foeken

This volume attempts to dig deeper into what is currently happening in Africa’s agricultural and rural sector and to convince policymakers and others that it is important to look at the current African rural dynamics in ways that connect metropolitan demands for food with value chain improvements and agro-food cluster innovations. It is essential to go beyond a ‘development bureaucracy’ and a state-based approach to rural transformation, such as the one that often dominates policy debate in African government circles, organizations like the African Union and the UN, and donor agencies.