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Politics of Social Change in Ghana

Authors: Talton, B.

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About this book

With Ghana's colonial and postcolonial politics as a backdrop, this book explores the ways in which historically marginalized communities have defined and redefined themselves to protect their interests and compete politically and economically with neighbouring ethnic groups.

About the authors

BENJAMIN TALTON is an assistant professor of history at Temple University, USA, specializing in modern African history.  

Reviews

"The book s strengths are its relevance for understanding broader colonial Africa and its array of primary, especially archival, sources, backed by an impressive list of secondary sources. These focus on colonial and independent Ghana but include literature from many parts of Africa as well as the classics of African studies. Recommended." - CHOICE

"What might a conflict, sparked by the sale of a guinea fowl in a fairly remote corner of Ghana in 1994, tell us about identity and politics in a rapidly globalizing, post-colonial world?Talton s Politics of Social Change in Ghana is one of only a handful of works in African Studies to expertly demonstrate the centrality of the local to understanding power and political consciousness in our globalizing world. It provides fresh insight into debates on tradition, religion, ethnicity, and political mobilization, while making sense of the horrific communal violence that has devastated the social fabric of parts of Northern Ghana for the past three decades." - Jean Allman, J.H. Hexter Professor in the Humanities Washington University in St. Louis

"Taking Africanist history back to its roots, Taltonreminds us that all politics is local andthat ethnicity begins at home." - Gregory Mann, Columbia University

"A very impressive book. With remarkable erudition and felicity, Talton exhibits masterful command of his sources and makes a major contribution to the history of Ghana by exploring through time the delicate relations between the Konkomba and their neighbours. This book fills an important gap in the history of Ghana and with it we are enabled to gain deep insights into the history of the complex ethnic relations in northern Ghana; a history of great importance to Ghana's security and development." - Kofi Baku, University of Ghana.

"Colonial rule in Africa typically left fault lines that have continued to produce political tremors since independence. In the case of Ghana, the north-south divide is starkly apparent, but within the Northern Territories the British also created nested hierarchies. Decentralized peoples like the Konkomba were placed beneath those who had chiefs, with profound implications for land access and the the daily tenor of group relations. The result has beenstruggles that are played not just through acts of violence, but also through discursive claims toautochthony that are designedto trump each other.Benjamin Talton providesa dispassionate and historically-grounded analysis of a kind that has long been overdue. He shows how Konkomba actors sought to forge a common purpose and to contest their marginality, but he also subtly reveals how they were forced to work within the rules of an existing game. There has been a historiographical revolution in writing about Northern Ghana in recent years, and Talton has finally provided the missing piece of the puzzle." - Paul Nugent, Professor of Comparative African History and Director of the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh

"By analyzing the variegated history of relations between the Konkomba, a traditionally chiefless society in Northern Ghana, and politically dominant neighboring chiefdoms, the author offers a stimulating discussion of ethnicity as an instrument of both domination and resistance, and of the ambivalent role of custom , tradition and chieftaincy in a modern African state. He shows that recent violent clashes in Northern Ghana can only be understood when seen in the context of a long history of social change and the political struggle of a marginalized group for political equality and inclusion. The book represents an important contribution to the growing body of studies that from a bottom-up perspective examine African agency under the colonial and post-colonial regimes." - Carola Lentz, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz


Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Talton, Benjamin

    Pages 1-18

  • “Their Power Will Be Uniformly Supported”—Power and Memory

    Talton, Benjamin

    Pages 19-46

  • “This Wild but Interesting Tribe”—Konkomba Feuds and Obstacles to British Rule, 1914–1930

    Talton, Benjamin

    Pages 47-76

  • “A Festering Sore On an Otherwise Healthy Administrative Body”—Konkomba Political Agency and British Authority, 1929–1951

    Talton, Benjamin

    Pages 77-108

  • “Down with Black Imperialism in the North!”—Education, Local Politics, and Self-Help Initiatives, 1945–1972

    Talton, Benjamin

    Pages 109-141

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-230-10233-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $115.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-62278-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Politics of Social Change in Ghana
Authors
Copyright
2010
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-10233-0
DOI
10.1057/9780230102330
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-62278-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 242
Topics