The Political Economy of Everyday Life in Africa
Title Details

384 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

15 b/w. 6 line. Illustrations

Imprint: James Currey

The Political Economy of Everyday Life in Africa

Beyond the Margins

Edited by Wale Adebanwi

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Multi-disciplinary examination of the role of ordinary African people as agents in the generation and distribution of well-being in modern Africa.
What are the fundamental issues, processes, agency and dynamics that shape the political economy of life in modern Africa? In this book, the contributors - experts in anthropology, history, political science, economics, conflict and peace studies, philosophy and language - examine the opportunities and constraints placed on living, livelihoods and sustainable life on the continent. Reflecting on why and how the political economy of life approach is essential for understanding the social process in modern Africa, they engage with the intellectual oeuvre of the influential Africanist economic anthropologist Jane Guyer, who provides an Afterword. The contributors analyse the politicaleconomy of everyday life as it relates to money and currency; migrant labour forces and informal and formal economies; dispossession of land; debt and indebtedness; socio-economic marginality; and the entrenchment of colonial andapartheid pasts.

Wale Adebanwi is the Rhodes Professor of Race Relations at the University of Oxford. He is author of Nation as Grand Narrative: The Nigerian Press and the Politics of Meaning (University of Rochester Press).
Foreword - James Ferguson
Approaching the Political Economy of Everyday Life: An Introduction - Wale Adebanwi
PART I - MONEY MATTERS: CURRENCY AND FISCAL LIFE STRUGGLES
Cattle, Currencies and the Politics of Commensuration on a Colonial Frontier - John and Jean Comaroff
Currency and Conflict in Colonial Nigeria - David Pratten
Coercion or Trade? Multiple Self-realization during the Rubber Boom in German Kamerun (1899-1913) - Peter L Geschiere
Coercion or Trade? Multiple Self-realization during the Rubber Boom in German Kamerun (1899-1913) - Tristan Oestermann
The Macroeconomics of Marginal Gains: Africa's Lessons to Social Theorists - Celestin Monga
PART II - LABOUR, SOCIAL LIVES AND PRECARITY
From Enslavement to Precarity? The Labour Question in African History - Frederick Cooper
Navigating Formality in a Migrant Labour Force - Maxim Bolt
PART III - MARGINALITY, DISAFFECTION AND BIO-ECONOMIC DISTRESS
Precarious Life: Violence and Poverty Under Boko Haram and MEND - Michael J. Watts
The Debt Imperium: Relations of Owing after Apartheid - Anne-Maria Makhulu
Marginal Men and Social Conflicts in Nigeria: Okada Riders in Lagos - Gbemisola Animasawun
Sopona, Social Relations and the Political Economy of Colonial Smallpox Control in Ekiti, Nigeria - Elisha P. Renne
PART IV - HISTORY, TEMPORALITY, AGENCY AND DEMOCRATIC LIFE
History as Value Added? Valuing the Past in Africa - Sara S. Berry
Cultural Mediation, Colonialism and Politics: Colonial "Truchement", Postcolonial Translator - Souleymane Bachir Diagne
"Kos'ona Miran?" Patronage, Prebendalism and Democratic Life in Contemporary Nigeria - Adigun Agbaje
AFTERWORD: The Landscapes Beyond the Margins: Agency, Optimization and the Power of the Empirical - Jane Guyer

Wale Adebanwi is Presidential Penn Compact Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He was previously the Rhodes Professor of Race Relations at the University of Oxford. He is author of Nation as Grand Narrative: The Nigerian Press and the Politics of Meaning (University of Rochester Press) and The Political Economy of Everyday Life in Africa (James Currey).

"An essential volume. For scholars of Africa, several of the contributors and perspectives may well be familiar (more than half of the book's contributors are professors, who have published widely), but the gathering of critical perspectives offers a rare opportunity to take stock of what James Ferguson calls a 'shared intellectual sensibility' (Foreword, p. xvii). For those who are not so familiar with African research, or who may want to move beyond policy approaches, this book is a formidable place to start." AFRICA AT LSE BLOG
"This book is an important and stimulating addition to African Studies and, indeed, as emphasized by Jane Guyer and many of the contributors, also to social theory, especially social theory of 'economic life." AFRICAN STUDIES REVIEW
"The text is enriched by sound theoretical discussions and by intellectual excursions into the colonial and contemporary era in Nigeria, German Kamerun, apartheid and contemporary South Africa, and, in the case of Mali and its environs, by insights into the formidable challenges posed by ethnocentric mediation and interpretation. Recommended." CHOICE
"The book is highly recommended." THE ROUND TABLE
"This volume insightfully weaves together an impressive range of topics, scales and themes through often rich and fascinating case studies which make it valuable to anyone interested in economic anthropology." SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY
"Wale Adebanwi's thought-provoking introduction spells out an intriguing and yet straightforwardly sociological mission for anthropologists of Africa today: to study the everyday lives of Africans under the economic constraints they face." Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute

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Title Details

384 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

15 b/w. 6 line. Illustrations

Imprint: James Currey