Ghana in Transition

Ghana in Transition

Ghana in Transition

Ghana in Transition

Excerpt

This book, a case study of political institutional transfer, has been planned as the first of two field studies in British Colonial Africa on the development of conciliar organs of rule and selfgovernment. In this task we deal first with the Gold Coast, an area marked by singular success in the transformation from a tribal dependency to a parliamentary democracy, a success which has aroused major interest throughout the world. A second field study, planned for the near future, will try to test some of the hypotheses and propositions which emerge in this volume in a different African environment, one in which the degree of social integration required in nationhood is entirely lacking, and where the effort to create a national state prior to independence is under the leadership of the British Colonial Service rather than an indigenous national movement.

The present volume on the Gold Coast has set the form and the pattern of analysis which we shall follow. If at times it seems unorthodox, I hope that such unorthodoxy has been used with care. The task has been as much to devise a suitable framework for analysis of complex problems of the sort dealt with here as to portray political processes in the Gold Coast--indeed the two are impossible to separate. Nevertheless, the present analytical framework remains tentative. The one argument presented in its favor --that in terms of the problems posed for analysis it has proved an economical and useful research focus--is still not conclusive enough to warrant unusual claims for this method of approach.

Two important omissions from this work must be noted. For several reasons, religious factors have not been handled as a separate category. The use of the word "traditional" is used to subsume religious aspects of traditional social structure. However, neither Christianity nor Islam has been given the treatment it deserves. For this omission there are strong regrets, although the functions of both Christianity and Islam in political institutional transfer are partially treated, albeit in general terms. In the second case study planned, in which Uganda will be contrasted with the Gold Coast, religious factors will be accorded fuller treatment.

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