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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:This Country is Your Country: Territory, Borders, and Decentralization in Tuareg Politics
Author:Lecocq, BazISNI
Year:2003
Periodical:Itinerario: European Journal of Overseas History
Volume:27
Issue:1
Pages:59-78
Language:English
Geographic term:Mali
Subjects:space
Tuareg
political systems
customary law
land law
boundaries
decentralization
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
nationalism
History and Exploration
Abstract:This paper describes how concepts from 'formal' politics have gradually seeped into local settings, where they have been taken up by local political actors. The transformation central to the paper is the movement from a political organization essentially based on lineage, (fictive) kinship ties and a clan system, to a system in which territory, hitherto only important in the economic realm, takes a more central place. The society described is that of the Tuareg in northern Mali, especially those inhabiting or bordering the so-called Tamesna plain. Influences in territorial thinking date back to the colonial conquest of the area, and were developed further during the late colonial period, when a system of indirect rule gradually became more direct. The developments then set in motion were taken over by the postcolonial nation-State of Mali, which, after three decades of central administration, underwent a process of decentralization in the 1990s. Two Tuareg concepts regarding territory are central in the paper: 'ihenzuzagh' (economic geographical space) and 'akal' (political geographical space). Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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