The Nation-State (Studies. Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge, 14)
A Wrong Model for the Horn of Africa
Questions concerning this model have seldom been raised in African studies. A notable exception is Basil Davidson (1992) who called the nation-state model the “Black Man’s Burden.” Francophone Africanists were pioneers in economic anthropology and prolific critics of orthodox development theory but had little to say about the state which they regarded as a dependent variable. This omission therefore challenges the epistemological integrity of African studies. Where is the science this discipline is based on?
Founded in the West and dominated by western scholars, African studies thrive on modes of analysis that privilege European categories, or ascribe greater rationality and capacity for agency to Western rather than all other historical actors. This book explores this logic and shows that the decisions made by these actors are determined by identifications and interests that have little to do with the nation state.