Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Bourne’s Nigeria: A History of Big Men

Posted in African Politics, Nigeria, Reviews by ruben eberlein on February 10, 2016

bournenigeriaMy review of Richard Bourne’s book on the history of Nigeria was published by Welt-Sichten (pdf here). It offers a firm introduction into the politics and society in the West African state from Lugard’s establishment of the colony till the election victory of Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. Bourne’s book is, however, a story of “big men”. Readers looking for an account of everyday life in Nigeria, be it in the Niger Delta or during the Biafra war, will probably be disapppointed.

Para Todos Todo – The New Politics of Distribution

Posted in African Politics, Reviews by ruben eberlein on October 27, 2015

$_35My review of James Ferguson’s new book, Give a Man a Fish, has been published by Blätter des Informationszentrum Dritte Welt (iz3w). This interesting collection of essays describes the rise of new welfarism in the Global South, especially in Southern Africa. Contrary to the talk about the demise of state intervention in times of neo-liberalism, more and more people receive cash payments by their governments in countries such as Namibia, Zambia, South Africa or Brazil and Mexico. Ferguson discusses this development and its consequences for progressive scholarship and activism. Read the review here (German).

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Uganda: Return of the Kings

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Reviews, Uganda by ruben eberlein on November 15, 2013

In 1967, Milton Obote abolished the kingdoms of Uganda. Under Yowery Museveni in 1994, the kings and their royal suite were re-introduced. Raphaela von Weichs wrote a book about the re-establishment of the kingdom Bunyoro-Kitara in the west of Uganda. Read my review of her publication here (pdf) which was published by Welt-Sichten.

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Book Review: Foreign Intervention in Africa

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Reviews by ruben eberlein on October 29, 2013

The Cold War between the superpowers has been quite a hot affair in Africa. Millions of people lost their lifes. A new book sheds light on this immediate history. Read the English version of my review which appeared in Konkret 11/13.


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Living and Dying in Kinshasa

Posted in African Politics, Culture, DR Congo, Reviews by ruben eberlein on October 17, 2013

cemetryState1Filip de Boeck’s movie Cemetery State about life at the huge graveyard Kintambo in Kinshasa and the neighbouring slum named Camp Luka is a must-see for everybody interested in modern city-life in Africa. The anthropologist, for a long time acquainted with the capital of the DRC, follows a crew of young men while they take care of the dead in a city that is marked by grotesque disparities and contradictions. In course of their work, they challenge long-standing social hierarchies in their gerontocratic societies. Read my short review of the movie that appeared in the latest issue of Blätter des iz3w (pdf). The film can be ordered here.

Book Review: “Africa Emerges” by Robert I. Rotberg

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Reviews by ruben eberlein on August 5, 2013

Read my review of Robert I. Rotberg’s new book Africa Emerges which appeared in the latest issue of the Frankfurt-based journal Welt-Sichten. (more…)

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Chimurenga, the Third Part

Posted in African Politics, Reviews, Zimbabwe by ruben eberlein on July 1, 2013

blackpowerfarmafp13 years after the onset of the second land reform in Zimbabwe, the effects of the redistributions are still highly contested. Read my review of a new book on the land question here. If you prefer German, you can choose the pdf of the original article as published by Konkret magazine. (more…)

Book Review: Contested Identities

Posted in African Politics, Cote d'Ivoire, DR Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Reviews by ruben eberlein on June 21, 2013

Read here an English version of my review of Politics of Origin in Africa. Autochthony, Citizenship and Conflict by Morten Bøås and Kevin Dunn which is published by the journal Welt-Sichten in its June edition. (more…)

Cultural Production in the Neoliberal Periphery

Posted in Culture, Ghana, Global Africa, Reviews by ruben eberlein on June 18, 2013

hiplifeMy review of Jesse Weaver Shipley’s Living the Hiplife. Celebrity and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music was published by Blätter des iz3w in its June edition. It is a wonderful book which gives an in-depth account of current trends in cultural production and cosmopolitanism in Africa. Read an English translation of the text here. (more…)

Book Review: Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land

Posted in African Politics, Reviews, Zimbabwe by ruben eberlein on May 13, 2013

Zim_takesbackitslandToday the book Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land arrived all the way from Kumarian Press in Virginia. Joseph Hanlon, Jeanette Manjengwa and Teresa Smart claim to do away with some of the myths about the “fast track” land reform after 2000 in the Southern African country, such as that productivity has fallen and that only the elite profited.

If this is really the case and how they describe the fate of farmworkers – in my opinion the most severly affected group – I will explicate in a review due to be published by Konkret in July and later in English at this blog.

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