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Political Thought and the Public Sphere in Tanzania: Freedom, Democracy and Citizenship in the Era of Decolonization - African Studies 133 (Paperback)
  • Political Thought and the Public Sphere in Tanzania: Freedom, Democracy and Citizenship in the Era of Decolonization - African Studies 133 (Paperback)
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Political Thought and the Public Sphere in Tanzania: Freedom, Democracy and Citizenship in the Era of Decolonization - African Studies 133 (Paperback)

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£21.99
Paperback 281 Pages / Published: 19/10/2017
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Political Thought and the Public Sphere in Tanzania is a study of the interplay of vernacular and global languages of politics in the era of decolonization in Africa. Decolonization is often understood as a moment when Western forms of political order were imposed on non-Western societies, but this book draws attention instead to debates over universal questions about the nature of politics, concept of freedom and the meaning of citizenship. These debates generated political narratives that were formed in dialogue with both global discourses and local political arguments. The United Nations Trusteeship Territory of Tanganyika, now mainland Tanzania, serves as a compelling example of these processes. Starting in 1945 and culminating with the Arusha Declaration of 1967, Emma Hunter explores political argument in Tanzania's public sphere to show how political narratives succeeded when they managed to combine promises of freedom with new forms of belonging at local and national level.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107458628
Number of pages: 281
Weight: 418 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Analyzing a rich array of Swhaili-language newspapers and other sources, Emma Hunter brings out the multiple meanings that the people of colonial Tanganyika attached to concepts like freedom, progress, citizenship and representation. Examining debates over forms of belonging, claims to material and social resources and efforts to build local as well as national institutions, she shows that it was only in retrospect, and only partially, that Tanzanian elites reduced the demand for liberation to the assertion of national independence. She demonstrates the interplay of political discourse across localities and regional centers, in the colony as a whole, across the British empire and on an international scale.' Frederick Cooper, author of Africa since 1940: The Past of the Present
'In this exciting example of how to explore a new 'intellectual history from below', Emma Hunter has pioneered an understanding of how a new African nation, no matter how diverse in its ethnicity and religion, could develop a common political language of concern about how to pursue 'progress' while striving for social harmony. The editorial and letter pages of Tanzania's Swahili-language press in the era of decolonisation provide her with three decades of evidence. Julius Nyerere could construct a national language of debate derived less from the then international languages of freedom or socialism than from their local appropriations which addressed deeply vernacular anxieties about how to maintain justice and accountability in changing times. This is a model of how to pursue a new history of African social and political philosophy that owes nothing to the study of great texts.' John Lonsdale, Trinity College, Cambridge
'In this terrific book, Emma Hunter shows that Africans were not simply handed their independence by departing colonial powers. In the Swahili-language press Africans debated the most fundamental questions of democratic politics. They were not spokesmen for local, defensive, territorially bounded traditions. They were co-participants in the making of liberal political discourse. Hunter's book makes a powerful argument for the global salience of Africa's intellectual history.' Derek R. Peterson, University of Michigan
'This sophisticated book is surely at the vanguard of a new way of writing intellectual history. It builds a history of ideas 'from below' by working from Swahili language newspapers and other texts in circulation in Tanganyika and from archives in Tanzania and elsewhere ... The way Hunter's focus moves between the microscopic conditions of localities far from any metropolis to the biggest questions of twentieth-century history, such as the theory and practice of democracy, is deeply admirable.' Judges, 2016 Gladstone Prize, Royal Historical Society

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