Ethnicity and the long-term perspective

The African experience

by Alexander Keese (Volume editor)
©2010 Edited Collection 215 Pages
Series: CEAUP Studies on Africa, Volume 1


The debate about ethnicity in sub-Saharan Africa has come to an uneasy consensus in the 1990s, but it has to be asked if we are really close to a solution. How can comparative and historical views help to inform the debate? In this work, seven scholars bring in a long-term perspective to ethno-cultural solidarities, which they explore within a multi-disciplinary framework. This return to the ‘heart of the ethnic group’, twenty-five years after Elikia M’Bokolo’s and Jean-Loup Amselle’s path-breaking reinterpretation of ethnicity in Africa, argues for a reappraisal of approaches to ethnicity that have been adopted in recent decades. Focusing on two major geographical regions of the African continent – Senegambia including Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone, and the area of Southern Tanzania and the northern half of Mozambique –, the chapters in this volume provide a new historical interpretation of the processes of identity-building in sub-Saharan Africa.


ISBN (Softcover)
Schwarzafrika Ethnische Identität Porto (Portugal, 2007) Kongress Gruppenidentität
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 215 pp., 5 ill.

Biographical notes

Alexander Keese (Volume editor)

The Author: Alexander Keese is Assistant Professor and Marie-Curie Scholar at CEAUP, University of Porto, Portugal. He has published various articles on the Portuguese and French late colonial states in sub-Saharan Africa, and he is the author of the book «Living with Ambiguity: Integrating an African Elite in French and Portuguese Africa, 1930-61».


Title: Ethnicity and the long-term perspective