This is a book worth reading because it deviates from received wisdom in an intelligent and engaging way. In doing so, Kate Baldwin explores a fascinating paradox, namely, that “the empowerment of unelected traditional leaders often improves the responsiveness of democratic governments” (p. 5). The particular democratic government in question is Zambia, but the author makes a credible argument that her findings can be generalized to other democracies on the continent.
The problem of chiefs ultimately stems from the fact that all colonial powers in Africa were confronted with a similar dilemma. They wished to control vast stretches of territory but had to do so with few resources and little manpower. The “solution” to the dilemma of implementing colonialism on the cheap was to rule through the traditional leaders they found already on the ground or, in some locales, to create them where they did not exist. To be sure, the colonial powers all had different ideological and theoretical justifications for how they handled the customary authorities they found in place, but at the end of the day, the solutions usually resembled something akin to the British variant known as “indirect rule.” This meant that the alien power would rule through the already existing structures of governance. The primary responsibility of the chiefs, from
To continue reading, see options above.
Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.
Presidential Power and Impeachment
American Political Institutions after Watergate--A Discussion
DEMETRIOS CARALEY, CHARLES V. HAMILTON, ALPHEUS T. MASON, ROBERT A. McCAUGHEY, NELSON W. POLSBY, JEFFREY L. PRESSMAN, ARTHUR M. SCHLESINGER, JR., GEORGE L. SHERRY, AND TOM WICKER
Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilsonview additional issues
Articles | Book reviews
THE PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: EXTENDING THE U.S. UMBRELLA AND INCREASING CHANCES OF WAR
The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.
With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.