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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Study of the Problem of Genesis of State: The African Evidence
Author:Tomanovskaja, OlgaISNI
Periodical:St. Petersburg Journal of African Studies
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Abstract:Theoretical studies on problems of class formation and the emergence of the State in precolonial black Africa have shown that when the historical process is divided formally into periods on the basis of the ownership of the means of production, most African kingdoms do not fit entirely into any social formation. The transition from a primitive to a class society has been slower and far more diverse than generally supposed. L.V. Danilova (1968) has even gone so far as to postulate an individual 'transitional' post-primitive period. While the structural-functional perspective adopted by some Western social scientists is methodologically incompatible with the problem of State emergence, the African kingdom model built by J. Vansina is of significant interest. This model, designed to emphasize the universal features of African kingdoms, could be used as a base for the study of State development in African societies. However, such study must not be restricted to structural-functional features, but should include comparison of all the main parameters of social and economic life. Other theoretical issues which must be solved include the question of whether the term 'State' is applicable to African kingdoms, and the stage at which a community can be considered as organized in a 'State formation'. The present article was first published in Russian in 1973. Bibliogr., notes, ref.