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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Forget the Past or Go Back to the Slave Trade': Trans-Africanism and Popular History in Postcolonial Ghana
Author:Hasty, Jennifer
Year:2003
Periodical:Ghana Studies
Volume:6
Pages:135-161
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:political conditions
pan-Africanism
global economy
economic policy
information
1990-1999
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Urbanization and Migration
Abstract:The author explores the interplay between global, national and popular discourses in Ghana in the context of globalization. Looking specifically at the late Rawlings period, she examines the contradictory discourses at work on the Ghanaian State, situated between the liberalizing forces of trade and aid, on the one hand, and the oppositional forces of popular culture, on the other. By the late 1990s the process of liberalization in Ghana had come to emphasize foreign investment and transnational trade over loans and grants from international development organizations. The shift in economic strategy from aid to trade has entailed a concomitant shift in the way the State has presented itself at the local level. In the State media, images of charismatic patronage associated with national development have been replaced by an abstract language of economic rationality and social discipline - the conditions necessary for foreign investment. This representational shift in the State media suggests a neoliberal transformation in the logic of political legitimacy deployed by the State. However popular discourses in Ghana tend to reject or ignore both Pan-Africanist and neoliberal rational-bureaucratic understandings of the transformations at work in contemporary Ghana. Drawing on fieldwork carried out in 1999, the author focuses on the controversies surrounding the African-African American Summit and the contradictory narratives that subsequently emerged in the celebration of the national June 4 holiday, commemorating Rawlings' first coup in 1979. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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