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This ground-breaking book is the first to take post-colonial theory out of its literary confines, and extend it in order to understand the complexities and dynamics of post-colonial African politics. Pat Ahluwalia contends that post-colonial theory has marginalised a huge part of its constituency, namely Africa. This book fills a significant gap. Moreover, he argues that if post-colonial theory is to have any major and lasting effect within social and political theory, it needs to engage with matters overtly political. Eurocentric theory has failed to understand post-colonial Africa: Politics and Post-Colonial Theory traces how African identity has been constituted and reconstituted by examining movements such as negritude, and the rise of nationalism and decolonisation. The book questions how helpful postcolonial analysis can be in understanding the complexities which define institutions such as the nation-state, civil society, human rights and citizenship.
Finally, the book examines the relevance of globalisation to both post-colonialism, as well as Africa, and looks at the ways in which Africa and Africans are now reconstituting their identity in order to meet the challenges of everyday life. It illustrates how Africa and Africans transform and inflect the institutions inherited as a result of colonialism. Politics and Post-Colonial Theory bravely breaks down disciplinary boundaries. Its radical vision will be essential reading for all those engaged in post-colonial studies, African studies, literary theory, and political and social sciences in general.
Pal Ahluwalia is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Adelaide. He has written extensively on African Politics and post-colonial theory. His most recent publication, with Bill Ashcroft, is Edward Said: The Paradox of Identity, also published by Routledge.