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a website by
Wim van Binsbergen

Ethnicity, identity and politics in Africa
 

see dozens of published scholarly articles below; also book offers, site search, and a Forum on ethnicity, identity and politics in AfricaNEW on class formation Zambia 1800-1978; on youth politics Zambia 1970s; on ethnicity and culture; a French article on postcolonial chiefs in Zambia; on the political responsibility of Africanists; on law in rural Zambia NEW just published (September 2003): the dynamics of power and the rule of law -- see bottom of this page -- just published (September 2003): the dynamics of power and the rule of law -- see bottom of this page -- just published (September 2003): the dynamics of power and the rule of law -- see bottom of this page --

Ethnicity, identity and politics in Africa: This website (established March, 2002) brings together a number of Wim van Binsbergen's articles on the social anthropology and intercultural philosophy of ethnicity, identity and politics. Over the years, he has frequently explored these aspects of African societies: in the course of his extensive ethnographic and historical research in various African settings; as founder and chair of the Department of Political and Historical Studies, African Studies Centre, Leiden, 1981-1990; as professor of ethnic studies at the Free University, Amsterdam (1990-1998); in his work on globalisation both at the African Studies Centre, Leiden, as well as in the context of the WOTRO/ NWO (Netherlands Foundation for Tropical Research / Netherlands Research Foundation) national research programme on globalisation and the construction of communal identities (1993-1999); and in his theoretical work currently pursued in the context of his chair in intercultural philosophy at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands (as from 1998).

Issues of ethnicity and identity continue to be of great importance in politics both in Africa and globally. Recently the debate on these matters has even further intensified against the background of the multicultural society, the creation of the European Union, intercontinental migration, globalisation, and the confrontation between North Atlantic and Islamic models of globalisation and signification. There is also the matter of the continued circulation of some of Wim van Binsbergen's views on these issues in international scholarly debate and teaching.

A dilemma arises here: from 1990 onwards, the topics on which Wim van Binsbergen has worked have greatly expanded to encompass dazzling connections and continuities in space and time over thousands of kilometres and hundreds of years, embarking on globalisation research but also on topics like the world's, and ancient Egypt's, indebtedness to ancient Africa, and the intercultural philosophy of identity and knowledge -- a developed reflected in his various websites as included in the present www.shikanda.net domain. This work has largely replaced his earlier concentration on political issues within narrowly-defined African horizons, as reflected in the older pieces in the present website. These pieces mainly document historical moments of empirical research and theory, and are not included here for any unmitigated lasting value attributed to them by their author.

proceed to the Shikanda portal in order to access all other websites by Wim van Binsbergen: general (intercultural philosophy, African Studies); ethnicity-identity-politics; Afrocentricity and the Black Athena debate; Ancient Models of Thought in Africa, the Ancient Near East, and prehistory; sangoma consultation; literary work
also a highly sensitive in-site search facility is now available at the overall Shikanda.net portal homepage, covering all Wim van Binsbergen's sites in a single search action

Internal search facility

This search facility provides a complete electronic index of the present website on ethnicity, and of all of Wim van Binsbergen's other websites in the present domain, and moreover enables you to search the entire Internet quickly and effectively; simply enter the word(s) you require into the blank search box, and press 'Search'

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Books introduced at the present website
(the most recent ones on top)
click on the links or images for blurb, table of contents, text samples, and order form

   
 

NEW

Volume XVI (1-2) of Quest: An African Journal of Philosophal / Revue Africaine de Philosophie, the first volume of this journal to appear under the editorial responsibility of Wim van Binsbergen; this is a special issue entitled:

TRUTH IN POLITICS
Rhetorical Approaches to Democratic Deliberation in Africa and beyond

Philippe-Joseph Salazar, Sanya Osha, Wim van Binsbergen (Eds.), 278 pp.

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B13
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NEW

just published (September 2003):

Wim van Binsbergen, (ed.)
in collaboration with Riekje Pelgrim
The dynamics of power and the rule of law: Essays on Africa and beyond: in honour of Emile Adriaan van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal

Berlin/Muenster: LIT for African Studies Centre, Leiden, 337 pp., bibliographies, index of proper names, author index

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B12

Richard Fardon, Wim van Binsbergen & Rijk van Dijk, 1999, eds., Modernity on a shoestring: Dimensions of globalization, consumption and development in Africa and beyond, Leiden/ London: EIDOS (European Inter-University Development Opportunities Study Group)

B1

book offer: Wim van Binsbergen, 1999, 'Culturen bestaan niet': Het onderzoek van interculturaliteit als een openbreken van vanzelfsprekendheden, oratie 'grondslagen van interculturele filosofie', Rotterdam: Faculteit der Wijsbegeerte Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdamse Filosofische Studies XXIV, 1999, 48 pp (inaugural lecture, Rotterdam)

English version greatly revised and expanded version published in Quest: An African Journal of Philosophy, xiii (1999),

and subsequently incorporated in Wim van Binsbergen's book Intercultural encounters (2003)

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GREATLY DISCOUNTED

Wim van Binsbergen, 1992, Tears of Rain: Ethnicity and history in central Western Zambia, London/ Boston: Kegan Paul International (a Zambian edition was published locally in collaboration with the Zambia Educational Publishing House, 1994)

NEW now also available on the web as PDF (pagination slightly different from printed version); click this link to be taken to the download page NEW

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lya tikitiwile na ba Rev. Johasaphat Malasha Shimunika (author)
lya manishiwile na ba Wim van Binsbergen [ Tatashikanda] (editor)

Likota lya Bankoya
Nkoya edition

Leiden: African Studies Centre Research Reports No. 31 B / 1988

click here for PDF

   

 

Full original texts included in the present website
(all articles ?Wim van Binsbergen)

 

titles

provenance, bibliographical details

A. Theory and empirical analysis of ethnicity in Africa

A1 Ethnicity and identity in South Central Africa van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1997, ‘Ideology of ethnicity in Central Africa? in: Middleton, J.M., ed., Encyclopaedia of Africa south of the Sahara, New York: Scribners, vol. 2, pp. 91-99
A2 The Kazanga festival: Ethnicity as cultural mediation and transformation in central western Zambia van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1992, Kazanga: Etniciteit in Afrika tussen staat en traditie, oratie (inaugural lecture), Amsterdam: Free University; shortened French version: ‘Kazanga: Ethnicite en Afrique entre Etat et tradition? in: Binsbergen, W.M.J. van, & Schilder, K., red., Perspectives on Ethnicity in Africa, special issue ‘Ethnicity? Afrika Focus, Gent (Belgie), 1993,?: 9-40; English version with postscript: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1994, ‘The Kazanga festival: Ethnicity as cultural mediation and transformation in central western Zambia? African Studies, 53, 2, 1994, pp 92-125.
A3 From tribe to ethnicity in Western Zambia van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1985, ‘From tribe to ethnicity in western Zambia: The unit of study as an ideological problem? in: W.M.J. van Binsbergen & P. Geschiere, eds., Old modes of production and capitalist encroachment: Anthropological explorations in Africa, London: Kegan Paul International, pp. 181-234.
A4 Botswana's ethnic structure: An abortive research proposal van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1992-1994, 'Proposed joint research on ethnicity in Botswana: A programme to be undertaken by the National Institute of Development Research and Documentation, University of Botswana, and the African Studies Centre, Leiden University, The Netherlands, internal memorandum, Leiden: African Studies Centre'
A5

Wat elke journalist en beleidsmaker over grenzen en zogenaamde 'stammen' in Afrika zou moeten weten, maar kennelijk nooit heeft durven vragen

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1998, 'Enige opmerkingen over etniciteit en grenzen in hedendaags Afrika', voordracht gepresenteerd op het seminar 'Grenzen en etniciteit in Afria', Afrika-Studiecentrum / Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, Leiden, november 1998
A6

Theoretical inspiration, boundaries and ethnicity: Preliminary remarks on J.F. Bayart’s approach to politics in contemporary Africa

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1986, ‘Theoretical inspiration, boundaries and ethnicity: Preliminary remarks on J.F. Bayart’s approach to politics in contemporary Africa? paper presented at a seminar with J.-F. Bayart, Department of Political and Historical Studies, African Studies Centre, Leiden, 27 October 1986
A7

Recent Dutch and Belgian perspectives on ethnicity in Africa

Schilder, K., & van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1993, ‘Recent Dutch and Belgian perspectives on ethnicity in Africa? in: Ethnicity in Africa, eds. van Binsbergen, W.M.J. & Kees Schilder, special issue of Afrika Focus, 9, 1-2, 1993: 3-15
A8    

B. Theory and empirical analysis of culture, identity, and globalisation

B1

see above under 'Books'

B2

Cultuur als stokpaard: over het antropologische cultuurbegrip

W.M.J. van Binsbergen, 1995, 'Cultuur als stokpaard?: Naar aanleiding van Frits Seliers stuk ''Het antropologisch cultuurbegrip: Enkele opvattingen'' ', paper voor het stafseminar ‘Hedendaagse opvattingen over het antropologisch cultuurbegrip? vakgroep culturele antropologie/sociologie der niet-westerse samenlevingen, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 15 december 1995

B3 Dynamics of African cultural and ethnic identity in a context of globalisation van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1994, ‘Dynamiek van cultuur: Enige dilemma’s van hedendaags Afrika in een context van globalisering? contribution to a special issue entitled ‘De dynamiek van de cultuur? guest editors L. Brouwer & I. Hogema, Antropologische Verkenningen, 13, 2: 17-33, 1994; English version: ‘Popular culture in Africa: Dynamics of African cultural and ethnic identity in a context of globalization? in: J.D.M. van der Klei, ed., Popular culture: Africa, Asia & Europe: Beyond historical legacy and political innocence, Proceedings Summer-school 1994, Utrecht: CERES, 1995, pp. 7-40.
B4

Making sense of urban space in Francistown, Botswana: A study in urban symbolism

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1993, ‘Making sense of urban space in Francistown, Botswana? in: P.J.M. Nas, ed., Urban symbolism, Leiden: Brill, Studies in Human Societies, volume 8, pp. 184-228.
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Globalisation, consumption and development

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1999, ‘Globalization, consumption and development: A key note address? in: Fardon, R., van Binsbergen, W.M.J., & van Dijk, R., 1999, eds., Modernity on a shoestring: Dimensions of globalization, consumption and development in Africa and beyond: Based on an EIDOS conference held at The Hague 13-16 March 1997, Leiden/London: EIDOS [ European Interuniversity Deveopment Opportunities Study group ] , pp. 1-7
B6

Violence in anthropology: Theoretical and personal remarks

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1996e., ‘Trajectories of violence: An anthropological perspective: By way of introduction? in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., ed., Anthropology on violence: A one-day conference, Amsterdam: Department of Cultural Anthropology/ Sociology of Development, Vrije Universiteit, pp. vii-xvi
B7

De chaos getemd? Samenwonen en zingeving in modern Afrika

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1991, ‘De chaos getemd? Samenwonen en zingeving in modern Afrika? in: H.J.M. Claessen red., De chaos getemd?, Leiden: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, 1991, pp. 31-47.
B8

Law in the context of Nkoya society, Western Zambia, 1970s

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1977, ‘Law in the context of Nkoya society? in: S. Roberts, ed., Law and the family in Africa, The Hague/Paris: Mouton, pp. 39-68.
B9

Mary's room: On becoming an urban consumer in Francistown, Botswana

click here for French version

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1999, ‘Mary’s room: A case study on becoming a consumer in Botswana, Francistown? in: Fardon, R., van Binsbergen, W.M.J., & van Dijk, R., 1999, eds., Modernity on a shoestring: Dimensions of globalization, consumption and development in Africa and beyond: Based on an EIDOS conference held at The Hague 13-16 March 1997, Leiden/London: EIDOS [ European Interuniversity Development Opportunities Study group ] , pp. 179-206
B10

La chambre de Mary, ou comment devenir consommatrice a Francistown, Botswana

click here for English version

W.M.J. van Binsbergen, ‘La chambre de Mary, ou comment devenir consommatrice a Francistown, Botswana? in: de Lame, D., & Zabus, C., 2000, eds., Changements au feminin en Afrique noire: Anthropologie et literature, vol I., Anthropologie, Paris: L’Harmattan, pp. 37-85
B11

Globalization and virtuality: Analytical problems posed by the contemporary transformation of African societies

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1998, ‘Globalization and virtuality: Analytical problems posed by the contemporary transformation of African societies? in: Meyer, B., & Geschiere, P., eds., Globalization and idenity: Dialectics of flow and closure, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 273-303; also published as: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1998, ‘Globalization and virtuality: Analytical problems posed by the contemporary transformation of African societies? in: Meyer, B., & Geschiere, P., eds., Globalization and identity: Dialectics of flows and closures, special issue, Development and Change, 29, 4, October 1998, pp. 873-903
B12

see above under 'Books'

B13

see above under 'Books'

B14

see above under 'Books'

B15 The Janus situation: Development and the intercontinental circulation of knowledge and ignorance
van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1999, 'The Janus situation: Development and the intercontinental circulation of knowledge and ignorance', paper read at the 1999 Wageningen (Netherlands) conference on ‘Decision-making in natural resources management?/font>; revised version included as chapter 10 in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., Intercultural encounters: African and anthropological lessons towards a philosophy of interculturality, Berlin/Muenster: LIT

C. Political process on modern Africa

C1 Minority language and the state in Zambia and Botswana van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1994, ‘Minority language, ethnicity and the state in two African situations: the Nkoya of Zambia and the Kalanga of Botswana? in: Fardon, R. & Furniss, G., red., African languages, development and the state, Londen etc.: Routledge, pp. 142-188.
C2 Democracy and democratisation in Zambia and Botswana
van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1995, ‘Aspects of democracy and democratisation in Zambia and Botswana: Exploring political culture at the grassroots? Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 13, 1: 3-33; reprinted in: Tom Young,. ed., 2004, Readings in African Politics, International Africa Institute in cooperation with Indiana University Press and James Currey, London etc., pp. 202-214
C3 State penetration and the Nkoya experience, western Zambia, 1800-1986 van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1986, ‘The post-colonial state, “state penetration?and the Nkoya experience in Central Western Zambia? in: W.M.J. van Binsbergen, F. Reijntjens & G.S.C.M. Hesseling (eds), State and local community in Africa, Brussels: Cahiers du CEDAF, pp.31-63.
C4

see above under 'Books'

C5

Can anthropology become the theory of peripheral class struggle?
Reflections on the work of Pierre-Philippe Rey

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1984, ‘Can anthropology become the theory of peripheral class struggle?: Reflexions on the work of P.P. Rey? in: Van Binsbergen, W.M.J., & G.S.C.M. Hesseling, eds, Aspecten van staat en maatschappij in Afrika: Recent Dutch and Belgian research on the African state, Leiden: African Studies Centre, pp. 163-80; German version published as: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1984, ‘Kann die Ethnologie zur Theorie des Klassenkampfes in der Peripherie werden?? Osterreichische Zeitschrift fur Soziologie, 9, 4: 138-48; revised version included as chapter 3 in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., Intercultural encounters: African and anthropological lessons towards a philosophy of interculturality, Berlin/Muenster: LIT
C6

Labour migration and the generation conflict
An essay on social change in central western Zambia

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1975, ‘Labour migration and the generation conflict: Social change in Western Zambia? paper read at the 34th Annual Meeting, Society for Applied Anthropology, Section: Anthropological Contributions to the Study of Migration, Amsterdam, 19-22 March 1975.
C7  

see under 'books'

C8 An Editorial on: Truth in politics with special attention to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (1994-1998)
Wim van Binsbergen, 2004, 'Editorial', in: Salazar, P.-J., Osha., S., & van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 2004, eds., TRUTH IN POLITICS: Rhetorical Approaches to Democratic Deliberation in Africa and beyond, special issue of: Quest: An African Journal of Philosophy, XVI, pp. 5-12
C9 Aristotle in Africa ?Towards a Comparative Africanist reading of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Wim van Binsbergen, 2004, 'Postscript: Aristotle in Africa ?Towards a Comparative Africanist reading of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission', in: Salazar, P.-J., Osha., S., & van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 2004, eds., TRUTH IN POLITICS: Rhetorical Approaches to Democratic Deliberation in Africa and beyond, special issue of: Quest: An African Journal of Philosophy, XVI, pp. 238-272

D. Chieftainship in modern Africa

D1

Chiefs and the state in independent Zambia

van Binsbergen W. M. J., 1987, ‘Chiefs and the State in Independent Zambia : exploring the Zambian National Press? in: J. Griffiths & E. A. B. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal (eds), Journal of Legal Pluralism, special issue on chieftainship in Africa, n?25-26, pp. 139-201.
D2

Nkoya royal chiefs and the Kazanga Cultural Association in western central Zambia today: Resilience, decline, or folklorisation?

click here for French version

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1999, ‘Nkoya royal chiefs and the Kazanga Cultural Association in western central Zambia today: Resilience, decline, or folklorisation?? in: E.A.B. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal & R. van Dijk, eds., African chieftaincy in a new socio-political landscape, Hamburg/ Munster: LIT-Verlag, pp. 97-133
D3

Les chefs royaux nkoya et l’Association culturelle Kazanga dans la Zambie du centre-ouest aujourd’hui: Resiliation, declin ou folklorisation de la fonction du chef traditionnel?

click here for English version

Slightly compressed French version of: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1999, ‘Nkoya royal chiefs and the Kazanga Cultural Association in western central Zambia today: Resilience, decline, or folklorisation?? in: E.A.B. van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal & R. van Dijk, eds., African chieftaincy in a new socio-political landscape, Hamburg/ Munster: LIT-Verlag, pp. 97-133; French version now in the press in: Perrot, C.-H., ed., Actes du colloque sur la chefferie en Afrique (Paris 1999)
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see above under 'Books'

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E. Pre-colonial political formations

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Mukanda: Towards a history of circumcision rites in western Zambia, 18th-20th century

van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1993, ‘Mukanda: Towards a history of circumcision rites in western Zambia, 18th-20th century? in: J.-P. Chretien, avec collaboration de C.-H.Perrot, G. Prunier & D. Raison-Jourde, eds., L’invention religieuse en Afrique: Histoire et religion en Afrique noire, Paris: Agence de Culture et de Cooperation Technique/Karthala, pp. 49-103.
E2

Violence, state formation, and cultural discontinuity in west central Zambia, 1600-1996 (PDF)

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van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1996, ?‘‘Then give him to the crocodiles’’: Violence, state formation, and cultural discontinuity in west central Zambia, 1600-1996? in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., ed., Anthropology on violence: A one-day conference, Amsterdam: Department of Cultural Anthropology/ Sociology of Development, Vrije Universiteit, pp. 75-91;
Dutch version: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1993, ? ‘‘ Geef hem dan maar aan de krokodillen’’: Staatsvorming, geweld en culturele discontinuiteit in voor-koloniaal Zuidelijk Centraal Afrika? contribution to a special issue on state formation, guest editors H. Dahles & A. Trouwborst, Antropologische Verkenningen, 12, 4: 10-31, 1993;
final version published as: ‘Then give him to the crocodiles’’: Violence, state formation, and cultural discontinuity in west central Zambia, 1600-2000? in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., in collaboration with Pelgrim, R., ed.,
The dynamics of power and the rule of law: Essays on Africa and beyond: in honour of Emile Adriaan van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal, Berlin/Muenster: LIT for African Studies Centre, pp. 197-219.
E3

see above under 'Books'

E4 Class formation, modes and branches of production, and the penetration of capitalism in the Kaoma rural district, Zambia, 1800-1978 van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1978, ‘Class formation and the penetration of capitalism in a Zambian rural district? paper read at the seminar on Class Formation in Africa, 18-19 May, 1978, Leiden: African Studies Centre
E5

see above under 'Books'

F. Miscellaneous

F1 Reflections on the future of anthropology in Africa (1987, with an extensive 2002 postscript)
greatly expanded and updated version of: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., 1988, Reflections on the future of anthropology in Africa? in: C.Fyfe (ed.), African futures: Twenty-fifth Anniversary Conference, Edinburgh: Centre of African Studies, Seminar Proceedings, No. 28, pp. 293-309; ; revised version included as chapter 4 in: van Binsbergen, W.M.J., Intercultural encounters: African and anthropological lessons towards a philosophy of interculturality, Berlin/Muenster: LIT
     
     

 

Forum on ethnicity, identity and politics in Africa

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proceed to the Shikanda portal in order to access all other websites by Wim van Binsbergen: general (intercultural philosophy, African Studies); ethnicity-identity-politics; Afrocentricity and the Black Athena debate; Ancient Models of Thought in Africa, the Ancient Near East, and prehistory; sangoma consultation; literary work
also a highly sensitive in-site search facility is now available at the overall Shikanda.net portal homepage, covering all Wim van Binsbergen's sites in a single search action

 

PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS. The page-title illustrations featuring on this website show, from left to right: (1) A cattle-plague barrier evoking a very solid boundary such as usually does not exist between human groups except in the images they form of one another; (2) A visual ornament inspired by the colours of Panafricanism; and (3) Men belonging to the Nkoya people in western Central Zambia, Africa, bringing the royal salute to the graves of their kings; among this people -- to whom several pages of the present website will be devoted -- the kingship is the main underpinning of ethnic identity. A similar situation obtains in many societies in and outside Africa. The abstract background illustration conveys the combination of fluidity and contrast, merging and opposition, which in the author's view is one of the main features of ethnicity, as a deliberate and often flimsy social construction which yet takes on the suggestion of inescapable reality to the people identifying under a particular ethnic or national designation.

 

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