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Periodical issue Periodical issue Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Special issue: Central peripheries and sliding contexts: absence and marginality as spaces of emergence
Editor:Panella, CristianaISNI
Year:2011
Periodical:Africa Today (ISSN 1527-1978)
Volume:58
Issue:3
Pages:115
Language:English
Geographic terms:Africa
Burkina Faso
Cameroon
Mali
Mauritania
Subjects:centre and periphery
State-society relationship
Link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_today/toc/at.58.3.html
Abstract:This special issue offers views on the 'limes' (Latin for border) through centre-and-periphery dynamics first approached by panels at the MANSA (Mande Studies Association) conference and the third European Conference on African Studies. The aim was to qualify the vision of a structural urban-rural split by showing that the social dynamics of marginal contexts are not refracted reverberations of national policies, but rather, centres of change in their own right. A second aim is to show the exclusionary effects of national and international governance policies, as well as the new arenas of social production in marginal contexts and groups, along with the ensuing dynamics of belonging. Riccardo Ciavolella suggests his own reading of Gramsci on the 'Southern question' in Italy, with an analysis of the stakes of political visibility in the conflict between the Mauritanian State and Fulani nomads. According to him, the representation of FulaaBe reveals an essentialization of nomadic people, stereotyped as antimodern and therefore antistate. Sabine Luning depicts the interaction between local groups and the staff of a goldmining corporation in Burkina Faso as based on the dynamics of cohabitation between heterogeneous actors in a context of legal pluralism and analyses aspects of power relations in the dynamics of indigenousness. Cristiana Panella analyses the confrontation between the Malian State's patrimonialization criteria and the survival strategies of tourist-art woodcarvers at Bamako's Maison des Artisans, viewing those strategies as tools for iconographic innovation and markers of social change. Jean-Pierre Warnier outlines a new reading of his 'Échanges, développement et hiérarchies dans le Bamenda précolonial' (1985), in which he showed the existence of two centre-versus-periphery systems, one regional, the other subcontinental, revolving around Atlantic coastal trade. His paper questions the conception of a Grassfields region on the periphery of Wallerstein's world system. In separate comments, Ralph Austen, Joseph Inikori and John Thornton agree with Warnier's hypothesis on the existence of an intraregional economic system in the Niger Bend area before the beginning of the slave trade, but they also stress the lack of ample documentation to highlight a convincing analysis of the complexity of social and economic processes in the Grassfields and surrounding regions in a 'world system' (Atlantic and the Indian Ocean), as Warnier seems to assert. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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