African Political Systems Revisited: Changing Perspectives on Statehood and Power | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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African Political Systems Revisited: Changing Perspectives on Statehood and Power

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Volume 26

Integration and Conflict Studies

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African Political Systems Revisited

Changing Perspectives on Statehood and Power

Edited by Aleksandar Bošković and Günther Schlee

Foreword by Adam Kuper
Afterword by Bilinda Straight

278 pages, 10 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-472-2 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (April 2022)

eISBN 978-1-80073-473-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


African Political Systems Revisited is a rich collection…that…more than succeeds in obliging us to acknowledge the ongoing empirical and theoretical value of a disciplinary monument without succumbing to either theoretical nostalgia or postcolonial posturing.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“The book is a high quality discussion by a group of established and upcoming anthropologists of the impact and value of a classical and foundational text in social anthropology … The result is a strong contribution to social anthropology with new theoretical and comparative insights.” • C.S. van der Waal, Stellenbosch University


Reexamining a classical work of social anthropology, African Political Systems (1940), edited by Fortes and Evans-Pritchard, this book looks at the colonial and academic context from which the work arose, as well as its reception and its subject matter, and looks at how the work can help with analysis of current politics in Africa. This book critically reflects upon the history of anthropology. It also contributes to a political anthropology which is aware of its antecedents, self-reflexive as a discipline, conscious of pitfalls and biases, and able to locate itself in its academic, social and political environment.

Aleksandar Bošković is Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Archaeology in Belgrade. His books include William Robertson Smith (Berghahn Books, 2021), Mesoamerican Religions and Archaeology (Archaeopress, 2017) and Other People’s Anthropologies (Berghahn Books, 2008, editor).

Günther Schlee is one of the Founding Directors of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. Prior to this appointment he was until 1999 Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bielefeld. His main publications include Identities on the Move: Clanship and Pastoralism in Northern Kenya (Manchester University Press, 1989) and How Enemies Are Made: Towards a Theory of Ethnic and Religious Conflict (Berghahn Books, 2008).

Subject: Political and Economic AnthropologyColonial HistoryDevelopment Studies
Area: Africa


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