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Playing the Marginality Game
Identity Politics in West Africa
230 pages, 23 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-189-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (March 2019)
eISBN 978-1-78920-190-1 eBook
“Clearly, (this book) is the result of a long period ethnographic work and reflection on the evidence collected, and it will enrich our knowledge of Guinea Conakry, one of the African countries which are today on the development priority list of the European Union”. • Alice Bellagamba, University of Milan-Bicocca
In Guinea, situated against the background of central government struggles, rural elites use identity politics through contemporary political reforms to maintain their privileges and perpetuate a generations-old local social contract that bridges ethnic and religious divides. Simultaneously, administrative reform and national unrest lead to the creative re-combination of sources of authority and practices of legitimate rule. Past periods of colonization, socialism and authoritarian regime are reflected in contemporary struggles to make sense of participatory democracy and the future of the embattled Guinean national state.
Anita Schroven is Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. She has researched state identities in West Africa, along with practices of humanitarian intervention, science and knowledge production in the context of political and medical crises. She has held fellowships with the Pasteur Institute, France, and UNICAMP, Brazil.
Subject: General Anthropology Sociology Development Studies
List of Maps and Figures
Notes on Names and Spelling
List of Acronyms
Introduction: Identity at the Margins: A Place in Guinea
Chapter 1. A Journey to the Margins?
Chapter 2. Maintaining Marginality: Ethnic and National Elements of Identification
Chapter 3. Reaching for the Margins: Negotiating State Power
Chapter 4. Mixing and Mingling: New Politics, Old Structures?
Chapter 5. Bargaining with an Ailing State
Chapter 6. Citizenship at the Margins: Performing the Future State
Conclusion: Liberties at the Margins: Playing the Game
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