Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home AfricaBib Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Book Book
Title:The historical long-term in the politics of the Central African Republic: insights from the biography of Barthélémy Boganda (1910-1959)
Author:Walraven, Klaas vanISNI
Series:ASC working paper
City of publisher:Leiden
Publisher:African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL)
Geographic term:Central African Republic
political history
autobiographies (form)
About person:Barthélemy Boganda (1910-1959)ISNI
External link:https://hdl.handle.net/1887/79965
Abstract:This article investigates the possibility of long-term causation in the political history of the Central African Republic. It does so by looking at the biography of Barthélémy Boganda (1910-1959). It argues that the upheavals of European colonisation at the beginning of the twentieth century - as experienced by Boganda as a child - exercised an enduring influence on his persona and remained relevant for his life and work throughout the later part of the colonial era. Second, the article investigates the persistent relevance of cultural repertoires as ingrained in the religious cosmologies in the region in pre-colonial times for the nature of Boganda's political leadership. It argues that his charisma was articulated through the behavioural repertoires of the trickster archetype, as described in the pedagogical warnings of pre-colonial regional cosmologies. This betrays the continued relevance of pre-colonial notions of political legitimacy as marked by folly, which is an essential element in the trickster figure. While warning against essentialist interpretations of Central African culture, the article concludes that research into political anthropology could reveal how styles of political deportment among Central African leaders (from politicians to warlords) are possibly fed by older (unhelpfully called 'pre-colonial') notions of cunning and brutality, which undergird deeper representations of violence and power.