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by Mahmood Mamdani. James Currey, 1996. xii + 353 pp. 14.95 [pounds sterling] paperback. ISBN 0-85255-399-4.
The main title of this book, `Citizen and Subject', suggests a Charter 88 discussion of the British constitution; and while the sub-title shows that it is on Africa, the content is a contribution to comparative as well as to African politics. In essence Mamdani is contributing to the debate on democratization in Africa, and he is doing so by arguing that the application of `prescriptions from a general theory of democracy' are insufficient. What has to be addressed is the African `mode of rule'.
This `mode' is not something that is uniquely African in character, but is a synthesis of the colonial state and that on which colonialists built by way of indigenous political structures and practices: `indirect rule'. This produced the `bifurcated state' in …