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p. 686. The role of identity in African politicslocked

  • Ian Taylor

Abstract

‘The role of identity in African politics’ explains that identity politics are symptoms of Africa’s underdevelopment, not the cause, and the prominence of such political mobilization reflects much deeper structural problems facing many post-colonial states. Before the colonial era, African societies were based on notions of identity, such as the family, ancestral lineage, the clan, or the community. Colonial rule forced together different communities (some of which were traditionally hostile to each other) and was mainly responsible for producing the situation found today where very few nation states exist. Colonial authorities concretized differences among and between the subjugated and the de-colonization period further contributed to the politicization of identity.

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