Identity Transformation and Politicization in Africa: Shifting Mobilization, edited by Toyin Falola and Céline A. Jacquemin, questions whether identity is providing and sustaining power for elites, or fueling oppression and conflicts, being mobilized for exclusionary movements versus inclusive societal changes, or educating in ways that foster progress and development. Do aspects of African identities and the challenges they present also hold prospects for more inclusive and peaceful democratic and representative futures? The contributors cover a wide spectrum of expertise on different African countries (Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Morocco, and Libya). They come from diverse disciplines (History, Political Science, Public Administration, Philosophy, Economics and Finance, Cultural Studies, Music, and International Relations), and use various methods and approaches in their research. Some contributors belong to the groups whose identity is being scrutinized and are participants in the efforts to politicize and mobilize, while others remain outside observers, who share some traits or interests with the African identities examined and provide different kinds of insights. Several chapters explore how innovative pedagogical projects studying African history and identity—facilitated by the internet and new social media—transform and connect with the African continent. Each author provides important insights on how mobilization around identity issues has been shifting with the internet and social media.
Toyin Falola is the Jacob and Frances Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.
Céline A. Jacquemin is professor of international relations and political science at St Mary’s University.
Céline A. Jacquemin and Toyin Falola
Part I: Interrogating the Trends, Ethics, and Political, Economic, & Cultural Elements of Identity
Chapter 1: Politics of Being and its Contemporary Implications in Africa: Positive or Negative Trends?
Olanrewaju Atanda Orija
Chapter 2: ‘Ubuntu’ Dialogic Ethics: Towards a Liberal Theory of Virtue and Transformation of Identities in Africa
Jude Chinwuba Asike and Patricia Ogugua Anwuluorah
Chapter 3: Interrogating Identity Politics in Nigeria
Chapter 4: Monetary Sovereignty, Sovereign Identities, Monetary Identities in Ghana and Nigeria in the Late 1950’s to Early 1960’s
Chapter 5: Music as a Tool for Sustainable Development in Nigerian Society
Maureen Ada Uche
Part II: Identity and Ethnic Conflict, Transformation, Reconciliation, and Empowerment
Chapter 6: Ethnicity, Peacebuilding, and Conflict Transformation in Nigeria: The Case of Herder-Farmer Conflict
Chapter 7: How Rwanda Transformed Identity Post-Genocide
Céline A. Jacquemin
Chapter 8: African Bureaucracies and the Implementation of Women Empowerment Programs
Abidemi Abiola Isola, Tolulope Adeogun, and Victor Adesiyan
Part III: Internet and Social Media Foster Identity Change, Exploration, and Mobilization
Chapter 9: Building Global Citizenship through the African Digital Public Humanities: The MaCleKi Collaborative
Meshack Owino and J. Mark Souther
Chapter 10: Mobilizing Student Interest in African Identity: An Academic Project for the Real World
Chapter 11: Institutional Change & Identity: Impact of the Arab Spring & Mobilization in North Africa
Chapter 12: Tracking Political and Religious Mobilization Against Queer Men in Senegal
Grayson Michael Posey
"Much of the extant scholarship on identity issues in Africa focus on how identities—especially ethnic, linguistic, geographical, and religious—are mobilized and deployed as a political resource by political entrepreneurs thereby occasioning incessant conflict and violence on the continent. Identity Transformation and Politicization in Africa: Shifting Mobilization goes beyond interrogating the politicization of identities and their deployment for nefarious purposes to examining how such identities can be democratically and philosophically transformed and mobilized to offer creative avenues for societal empowerment and provide alternative conflict resolution mechanisms. Herein lies the uniqueness and value of this book.”
"This volume is a noteworthy contribution to the study of identity and politics in Africa. While it is an addition to a literature that has registered important contributions to date, this book departs from usual approaches that tend to view identities on the African continent through a dichotomy pitching ethnicity against the nation. Instead of approaching identities as fixed and crystallized, the contributors gathered here analyze identity as multidimensional, and their reflections shed light on aspects of identity and new dynamics that enrich our understanding of current changes in African societies. Going beyond orthodox scholarship on identity politics in Africa, the authors blaze a trail by drawing attention to the power of such catalysts as currency, popular culture (music), and new technologies in forging national sentiment, and even see considerable promise in a new political project on the continent transcending ethnic affiliation. By going pass the silo mentality that often prevails in African Studies, this volume exemplifies the merits of interdisciplinary research on African societies."
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