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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:West African antislavery movements: citizenship struggles and the legacies of slavery
Authors:Hahonou, EricISNI
Pelckmans, LotteISNI
Periodical:Stichproben - Vienna Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:civil society
Abstract:This article focuses on the recent emergence of social movements of slave descendants in Benin, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. These antislavery movements (ASM) address the legacies of slavery. Although slavery at first glance seems to be an issue related to the past, its legacies matter in contemporary West African societies because they are impeding access to citizenship. The authors develop an integrated understanding of how and why ASM are trying to change these legacies, under which circumstances they appeared, and what their claims and achievements are. They analyse eight ASM in a comparative perspective. Antislavery claims are situated at the crossroads of two conflicting ideologies: democracy vs. aristocracy. The central claims of all these movements are identity-based and deal with socioeconomic inequalities such as access to land, equal justice, inheritance, and political representation. In West African contexts of political and institutional reform, demands for recognition of new identities are a way of accessing resources. The authors argue that social movements concerning identity are not replacing struggles over material issues, as observed by social movement theorists in European contexts, but are closely interlinked. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and German. [Journal abstract]