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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rethinking patrimonialism and neopatrimonialism in Africa
Authors:Pitcher, AnneISNI
Moran, Mary H.ISNI
Johnston, MichaelISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:African Studies Review (ISSN 1555-2462)
Volume:52
Issue:1
Pages:125-156
Language:English
Geographic terms:Africa
Botswana
Subjects:authority
legitimacy
political systems
Link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/african_studies_review/v052/52.1.pitcher.pdf
Abstract:Current usages of the terms patrimonial and neopatrimonial in the context of Africa are conceptually problematical and amount to a serious misreading of Weber. His use of the term patrimonial delineated a legitimate type of authority, not a type of regime, and included notions of reciprocity and voluntary compliance between rulers and the ruled. Those reciprocities enabled subjects to check the actions of rulers, which most analyses of (neo)patrimonialism overlook. The authors apply these insights to a case study of Botswana, where a modern democratic State has been erected on historical foundations of patrimonial authority. They argue that a misreading of Weber has turned African countries into examples of an imagined common pathology and caused a mistaken identification of this pathology with a type of legitimacy or authority. In conclusion, they suggest that scholars reconsider the application of Weber's concepts to African States. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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