African Studies Review

African Studies Review is a multi-disciplinary scholarly journals that publishes original research and analyses of Africa three times annually. African Studies Review also includes book reviews.

Articles from Vol. 50, No. 2, September

Africa Has Never Been "Traditional": So Can We Make a General Case? A Response to the Articles
Abstract:Marginal Gains (2204) has been described as a surprising and bold book. Since the articles in this collection, which take one or other of its arguments as points of departure, share certain similar qualities, they can be treated as a collective...
African Economies: The Tensions between Hope and Inertia
Jeffrey D. Sachs. The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time. New York: Penguin Books, 2005. xvi + 398 pp. Bibliography. Index. $16.00. Paper.Joseph E. Stiglitz and Andrew Charlton. Fair Trade for All: How Trade Can Promote Development....
African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development
Thandika Mkandawire, ed. African Intellectuals: Rethinking Politics, Language, Gender and Development. London: Zed Books/Dakar: CODESRIA, 2005. 234 pp. Notes. References. Index. $85.00. Cloth. $29.95. Paper.This book grew out of papers presented at the...
Africa's Hidden Histories: Everyday Literacy and Making the Self
Karin Barber, ed. Africa's Hidden Histories: Everyday Literacy and Making the Self. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006. ix + 451 pp. Illustrations. Photographs. Notes. References. Index. $75.00. Cloth. $29.95. Paper.Comprising an insightful...
Africa's Place-in-the-World
James Ferguson. Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2006. x + 257 pp. Map. Figures. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $74.95. Cloth. $21.95. Paper.Tanya Lyons and Geralyn Pye, eds. Africa on A Global Stage....
American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era
Kevin K. Gaines. American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era. The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005. xiv + 342 pp. Photographs. Bibliography....
Bandits on the Border: The Last Frontier in the Search for Somali Unity/The Law of the Somalis: A Stable Foundation for Economic Development in the Horn of Africa
Nene Mburu. Bandits on the Border: The Last Frontier in the Search for Somali Unity. Trenton, N.J.: The Red Sea Press, 2005. xii + 263. Photographs. Notes. Index. $29.95. Paper.Michael van Notten. The Law of the Somalis: A Stable Foundation for Economic...
Between Bombs and Good Intentions: The Red Cross and the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935-1936
Rainer Baudendistel. Between Bombs and Good Intentions: The Red Cross and the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935-1936. New York: Berghahn Books, 2006. xviii + 342 pp. Photographs. Appendixes. Bibliography. Index. $80.00. Cloth.Ethiopia has the habit of gripping...
Carriers of Culture: Labor on the Road in Nineteenth-Century East Africa
Stephen J. Rockel. Carriers of Culture: Labor on the Road in NineteenthCentury East Africa. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann, 2006. Social History of Africa Series, xix + 345 pp. Photographs. Illustrations. Maps. Tables. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $124.95....
Child Soldiers in Africa
Alcinda Honwana. Child Soldiers in Africa. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. 216 pp. Index. $45.00. Cloth. $22.50. Paper.Of all the tragedies that have befallen African societies in recent years, one of the most complex and far-reaching...
Class, Race, and Inequality in South Africa
Jeremy Seekings and Nicoli Nattrass. Class, Race, and Inequality in South Africa. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005. 464 pp. Tables. Graphs. Figures. Charts. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $55.00. Cloth.Studies on South Africa tend to overemphasize...
Contending Political Paradigms in Africa: Rationality and the Politics of Democratization in Kenya and Zambia
Shadrack Wanjala Nasong'o. Contending Political Paradigms in Africa: Rationality and the Politics of Democratization in Kenya and Zambia. New York: Routledge, 2005. xx + 225 pp. Tables. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $80.00. Cloth.The wave of democratization...
Cuba and the Recentering of African History
Victor Dreke. From the Escambray to the Congo: In the Whirlwind of the Cuban Revolution. New York: Pathfinder Press, 2002. 182 pp. Photographs. Maps. Notes. Glossary. Index. $17.00. Paper.Armando Choy, Gustavo Chui, and Moises Sio Wong. Our History Is...
Currency Devaluation and Rank: The Yoruba and Akan Experiences
Abstract:Jane Guyer has clearly demonstrated in Marginal Gains (2004) that the ranking of people historically was linked to quantitative scales of money. Guyer's study focuses on the Igbo and Ibibio, two societies in which ranking was by achievement...
Daily Lives of Civilians in Wartime Africa: From Slavery Days to Rwandan Genocide
John Laband, ed. Daily Lives of Civilians in Wartime Africa: From Slavery Days to Rwandan Genocide. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2007. ix + 301 pp. Photographs. Maps. Charts. Notes. Select Bibliography. Index. $65.00. Cloth.Daily Lives of Civilians...
Democracy in Senegal: Tocquevillian Analytics in Africa
POLITICS, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, AND GLOBALIZATION Sheldon Gellar. Democracy in Senegal: Tocquevillian Analytics in Africa. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. xix + 207 pp. Map. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $75.00. Cloth. $24.95. Paper.In Democracy...
Dog Days: An Animal Chronicle
Patrice Nganang. Dog Days: An Animal Chronicle. Translated from the French and with an afterword by Amy Baram Reid. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006. (Originally published as Temps de chien: chronique animate: roman. Paris: Serpent...
Economic Reforms and Modernization in Nigeria, 1945-1965
Toyin Falola. Economic Reforms and Modernization in Nigeria, 1945-1965. Kent Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2004. xvi + 272 pp. Photographs. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $49.00. Cloth.Toyin Falola's second book on Nigeria's economic history during...
Formalities of Poverty: Thinking about Social Assistance in Neoliberal South Africa
Abstract:In Marginal Gains (2004), Jane Guyer traces the logic of African socioeconomic practices that have long confounded attempts by modern states to impose what she terms "formalization." Nowhere is the tension between pragmatically "informal" economic...
Households and the Social Organization of Consumption in Southern Ghana
Abstract:This article replicates Guyer's finding in Marginal Gains (2004) of a social gradient in expenditure patterns of Ghanaian households using more flexible statistical techniques than those used in the book. We show that similar gradients are found...
Incalculable Payments: Money, Scale, and the South African Offshore Grey Money Amnesty
Abstract:This article seeks to refine conceptually the social study of finance and thus to extend the argument of Jane Guyer's Marginal Gains (2004). Using the case of the South African "grey money" amnesty, this article argues that social studies of...
Introduction: Marginal Gains Revisited
THIS SPECIAL ISSUE is the condensation of an author-meets-critics double panel organized for the African Studies Association meeting in Washington, D.C., in November 2005, on Jane Guyer's challenging book Marginal Gains-Monetary Transactions in Atlantic...
Islam, Histoire et Modernité En Côte d'Ivoire
Marie Miran. Islam, histoire et modernité en Cote d'Ivoire. Paris: Karthala, 2006. 546 pp. Photographs. Maps. Charts. Acronyms. Bibliography. Index. euro 35.00. Paper.Côte d'lvoire has not yet captured the attention of researchers interested in studying...
Life Begins at Fifty: African Studies Enters Its Age of Awareness
Abstract:The impending fiftieth anniversary of the African Studies Association offers the occasion for a historian to reflect on the maturation of the field as a historical process. The essay employs metaphors from human development to highlight the...
Marginal Gains, Market Values, and History
Abstract:Inspired by Jane Guyer's insights in Marginal Gains (2004) into the distinctive logics and performative repertoires that animate economic life in Africa, this article offers a few reflections on the implications of African economic dynamics...
Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali
Kris Holloway. Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali. Long Grove, III.: Waveland Press, 2007. xiii + 212 pp. Photographs. Maps. Bibliography. $17.95. Paper.Heat, flies, friendship, cultural dffference, and acceptance-and die unremittingly...
Native Son: West African Veterans and France in the Twentieth Century/Hitler's African Victims. the German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940
Gregory Mann. Native Son: West African Veterans and France in the Twentieth Century. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2006. ix + 334. Photographs. Maps. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $84.95. Cloth. $23.95. Paper.Raffael Scheck. Hitler's African Victims....
No Shortcuts to Power: African Women in Politics and Policy Making
Anne Marie Goetz and Shireen Hassim, eds. No Shortcuts to Power African Women in Politics and Policy Making. London: Zed Books, 2003. ix + 239 pp. Notes. References. Index. $31.95. Paper.Goetz and Hassim provide a significant contribution to theorizing...
Peaceful Resistance: Advancing Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms
Robert M. Press. Peaceful Resistance: Advancing Human Rights and Democratic Freedoms. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2006. xix + 227 pp. Tables. Bibliography. Index. $99.95. Cloth.Most studies on democratization in Africa tend to credit...
Picasso's Collection of African and Oceanic Art: Masters of Metamorphosis
LANGUAGES, LITERATURE, AND THE ARTS Peter Stepan. Picasso's Collection of African and Oceanic Art: Masters of Metamorphosis. Translated from the German by Paul Aston and Karin Skawran (Introduction), Robert McInnes (Chronology), and John Gabriel (Preface,...
Pregnancy and Childbirth: Joy or Despair? Women and Gender-Generated Crimes of Violence
HEALTH AND DISEASE Julie Stewart, Ellen Sithole, Elizabeth Gwaunza, Tsitsi Nzira, Dumisni Mashingaidze, Theresa Moyo, Kebokile Dengu-Zvobgo, and Joyce Kazembe. Pregnancy and Childbirth: Joy or Despair? Women and Gender-Generated Crimes of Violence. Harare:...
Prisoners of Freedom: Human Rights and the African Poor
LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTSHarri Englund. Prisoners of Freedom: Human Rights and the African Poor. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006. 247 pp. Photographs. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $55.00 Cloth. $21.95 Paper.At a time when democracy and human...
Regional Shifts-Marginal Gains and Ethnic Stereotypes
Abstract:This article addresses the question as to how Jane Guyer's seminal explorations of special traits of West African economies in Marginal Gains (2004) can help us understand variations within the region. This question acquires some urgency-for...
South Africa
Anthony Trollope. South Africa. 2 volumes. Gloucestershire: Nonsuch, 2006 [1878]. Distributed outside North America by Tempus Publishing Ltd, The Mill, Brimscombe Port, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2QG, U.K. Distributed in North America by Independent...
Student Power in Africa's Higher Education: A Case of Makerere University
EDUCATIONFrederick Kamuhanda Byaruhanga. Student Power in Africa's Higher Education: A case of Makerere University. New York: Routledge, 2006. xxii + 180 pp. Charts. Appendix. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $65.00. Cloth.Frederick Byaruhanga's book, Student...
Sub-Saharan Africa: An Environmental History
GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, AND DEMOGRAPHY Gregory Maddox. Sub-Saharan Africa: An Environmental History. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Nature and Human Societies Series, ix + 355 pp. Photographs. Maps. Illustrations. Glossary. Bibliography. Index....
Sustainable Development in Africa: A Multifaceted Challenge
ECONOMICS AND DEVELOPMENT Okechukwu Ukaga and Osita G. Afoaku, eds. Sustainable Development in Africa: A Multifaceted Challenge. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 2005. 254 pp. List of Contributors. References. Index. $29.95. Paper.By now it is pretty...
The Abolition of the Slave Trade in Southeastern Nigeria, 1885-1950
A. E. Afigbo. The Abolition of the Slave Trade in Southeastern Nigeria, 1885-1950. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2006. Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, xv + 210 pp. Maps. Appendixes. Bibliography. Index. $75.00. Cloth.The...
The Battle for Zimbabwe: The Final Countdown
Geoff Hill. The Battle for Zimbabwe: The Final Countdown. Cape Town: Zebra Press, 2003. xii + 308 pp. Distributed in Africa by Struik Publishers, P.O. Box 1144, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa. Distributed in the United States by International Publishers...
The Biography of Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua: His Passage from Slavery to Freedom in Africa and America
Robin Law and Paul Lovejoy, eds. The Biography of Mahommah Gardo Baquaqua: His Passage from Slavery to Freedom in Africa and America. Revised and expanded second edition. Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2007. xix + 278 pp. Illustrations. Maps. Notes....
The Efficacy of the Economy
Abstract:This article engages with Jane Guyer's assessment (in Marginal Gains, 2004) of contemporary forms of capitalism from outside the bounds of two opposing logics: the universalization of capitalist arrangements versus the specificity of local forms...
The Nubian Past: An Archaeology of the Sudan
HISTORY David N. Edwards. The Nubian Past: An Archaeology of the Sudan. London: Routledge, 2004. xii + 348 pp. Photographs. Tables. Illustrations. Bibliography. Index. $125.00. Cloth. $44.95. Paper.David Edwards's book is a major contribution to, and...
The Ostrich Wakes: Struggles for Change in Highland Kenya
Jean Davison. The Ostrich Wakes: Struggles for Change in Highland Kenya. Austin, Tex.: Kirinyaga Press, 2006. ii + 213 pp. Photographs. Maps. Figures. Notes. Glossary. $14.95. Paper.Jean Davison's experience of Africa goes back more than thirty years...
The Price of Liberty: African Americans and the Making of Liberia
Claude A. Clegg III. The Price of Liberty: African Americans and the Making of Liberia. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2004. 344 pp. Photographs. Maps. Figures. Tables. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $59.95. Cloth. $21.95. Paper.The...
The Shackled Continent: Power, Corruption, and African Lives
Robert Guest. The Shackled Continent: Power, Corruption, and African Lives. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2004. Distributed by HarperCollins. 280 pp. Notes. Index. $27.50. Cloth.In this thought-provoking investigation into the heart of Africa,...
The Telling Challenge of Africa's Economies
Abstract:This contribution to the special issue of ASR on Jane Guyer's Marginal Gains (2004) takes up two recent, and radically different, constructivist contributions to the field of economic sociology-those of Phillip Mirowski and Michel Callon. The...
The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs and the Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa
Adam Roberts. The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs and the Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an oil-Rich Corner of Africa. New York: PublicAffairs, 2006. xv + 303 pp. Bibliography. Index. $26.00. Cloth.An old saw among overseas oil field workers goes:...
Urban Africa: Changing Contours of Survival in the City
ANTHROPOLOGY & SOCIOLOGY AbdouMaliq Simone and Abdelghani Abouhani, eds. Urban Africa: Changing Contours of Survival in the City. Dakar: CODESRIA Books, 2005. x + 305 pp. Tables. Figures. Notes. References. Index. $85.00. Cloth. $29.95. Paper.Africa's...
When People Cross Thresholds
AbstractThis paper makes a very preliminary and provisional attempt to relate the discussion in Jane Guyer's Marginal Gains (2004) of disjunction, thresholds, and multiple scales of value characteristic of economies in the Atlantic zone with the disjunction,...
Where Vultures Feast: Shell, Human Rights, and Oil in the Niger Delta
Ike Okonta and Oronto Douglas. Where Vultures Feast: Shell, Human Rights, and Oil in the Niger Delta. London: Verso, 2003. xii + 267 pp. Notes. References. Index. $17.00. Paper."You produce the oil from our lands, but we get no benefit from it. Look...
Women's Organizations and Democracy in South Africa: Contesting Authority
WOMEN AND GENDER Shireen Hassim. Women's Organizations and Democracy in South Africa: Contesting Authority. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006. Women in Africa and the Diaspora Series, xiv + 355 pp. Appendixes. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $65.00....