In order effectively to decolonise Africa we need to understand better the economic
and political effects of colonialism in and on Africa today. To achieve
that understanding we need to look beyond the tired, well-trodden themes in
African historiography and political theory. Liberalism, communism, African
and Afrikaner nationalism, localised cultural and social histories and related
ideological conflicts of identity have failed to grasp and explain the relations
of power that continue to operate at the level of economics, finance, education,
war and politics. These factors have not adequately been thought through theoretically,
precisely because they are treated as inevitable material circumstances
separate from the longue durée of justifying ideas, enduring practices
and relations of power and the persistence of institutions even, in many cases,
sixty years after independence from colonial rule.
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