Abstract

The relations between Iberia and its Sephardic diasporas have undergone innumerable reversals and revivals as Spain and Portugal experienced processes of nation-state building. These relations reached a climax with the 2015 New Nationality Laws for Sephardic Jews, that allow them to become Portuguese or Spanish citizens. Given an unexcepted worldwide interest, the governments provided different redefinitions of the criteria of the process. Initially seen as a symbolic act, the attribution of nationality to Sephardic Jews raises questions not just about culture and collective memory, but, above all, about economy, diplomacy and realpolitik in the Iberian countries as much as in the Israeli society itself.

In: Lusotopie

Resumo

Baseada em uma etnografia conduzida entre 2013 e 2015, este estudo explora como uma comunidade Evangélica carismática desenvolveu um processo radical de judaização. Enquanto tal processo visa restaurar algumas práticas e teologias cristãs vistas como degeneradas, tal mudança é também motivada por alegações de uma origem criptojudaica reivindicada através de identidades marranas. Através da incorporação de práticas religiosas inspiradas no Judaísmo Ortodoxo, a comunidade coletivamente reconstrói suas identidades ‘evangélicas judaizantes’. No entanto, a identificação dessa comunidade com o Judaísmo não é linear, mas pautada em uma constante negociação entre elementos judaicos e o passado cristão.

In: Lusotopie

Abstract

Much of Lesotho’s cultural heritage has been studied as a result of dam developments. Where dams have been built, heritage studies have provided crucial data for improving our understanding of local archaeological sequences. Ahead of the construction of the Lesotho Highland Development Authority’s (LHDA) new Polihali Dam in Lesotho’s Mokhotlong District and following the recommendations of a heritage assessment (CES 2014), a large-scale five-year cultural heritage management program was launched in 2018 that seeks to excavate and mitigate a number of heritage sites. Here, we provide the background to one of southern Africa’s largest heritage mitigation contracts by contextualising the current research program. We then present the archaeology of Lesotho’s eastern highlands basalt region using data collected during the inception phase of this program. The findings challenge current preconceived notions about the sparsity of archaeological remains for this region.

In: Journal of African Archaeology

Abstract

Despite the flurry of democratic transitions in the 1990s, the African political arena continues to be dominated by Big-Man rulers who have appropriated and embraced many of the personalistic traits of their predecessors. This is demonstrated, among others, by leaders who seek to circumvent the new constitutional rules to prolong their hold on power. The perpetuation of personalism and deep-rooted presidentialism has led numerous observers to contend that these powerful and personalized forms of rule are reflective of the wider African political culture that is disposed to accept personal rule. Thus far, the argument that ordinary Africans are supportive of personal rule has been based primarily on the inability of elections to dislodge many of the Africa’s strongmen from power without directly testing the attitudes and opinions of ordinary Africans about the type of leadership that they have and want. Using data from five waves of surveys covering a total of 15 countries that were carried out in 2002, 2005, 2008, 2012 and 2014, we examine popular attitudes on the type and nature of leadership that is preferred by ordinary African citizens. The findings show that while most Africans recognize the prevalence of powerful and personalistic rule, they nonetheless overwhelmingly reject these forms of leadership. Africans, in other words, are not getting the type of leadership they want.

In: The African Review

Abstract

The discovery of oil in commercial quantities in Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Niger has generated optimism of a better life for the people living within the respective countries. This notwithstanding, the narrative surrounding African countries such as Nigeria and Angola as examples of the resource curse syndrome is well documented. Consequently, the conversation on the prospects from the discovery of oil is often measured. Within this context, this article explores the relationship between oil, democracy and political stability in West Africa. While conceding that countries which discovered oil post-democracy will likely avoid the challenges of those that struck oil prior to democracy, it is argued that such prospects are merely conditional due to inherent challenges in the democracy project practised in respective countries in the sub-region. The article thus argues that the pathways to addressing the contested spaces lie in democratic institutions with enhanced institutional capacity.

In: The African Review

Abstract

Africa has largely experienced two types of nationalism namely territorial nationalism and Pan Africanism. Both territorial and Pan African nationalism were anti-imperialists but the former’s mission was limited to attainment of independence from colonialism. Few nationalist leaders who led their countries to independence transcended territorial nationalism; one of them was Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. Nyerere was a Pan African nationalist although he began as a nationalist concerned with the liberation of his country Tanganyika. He spent most of his political life championing for African Unity believing that it was the only instrument to totally liberate Africa. How did his ideas and practices which initially placed him in the ranks of territorial nationalists advance into Pan Africanism? This article examines this question and explores Nyerere’s aspects of Pan Africanism.

In: The African Review

Abstract

The promulgation of the Environmental Management Act, 2015 of Zanzibar is a relatively new development. It has ushered optimism in the environmental management and protection realm in Zanzibar. The Act repeals and replaces the framework Environmental Management and Sustainable Development Act of 1996. Ostensibly this development seeks to reflect the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar’s (RGZ) concerted effort to address the rampant environmental degradation on the Isles by taking into account a number of developments at the international and local levels. The article provides a critical analysis of the new Act by, inter alia, making some comparisons with the repealed framework law. Its main thesis posits that although the intention of the RGZ is plausible, the new law is not an inviolable recipe for addressing the major challenges of environmental degradation facing the Archipelago.

In: The African Review