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Society for Comparative Studies in Society and History

Beyond Settler and Native as Political Identities: Overcoming the Political Legacy of Colonialism Author(s): Mahmood Mamdani Source: Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Oct., 2001), pp. 651-664 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 10/10/2011 02:22
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and BeyondSettler Nativeas Political the Overcoming Political Identities: LegacyofColonialism MAHMOOD MAMDANI University Columbia Our that Africa's coloniallegacy. is point thegeneration inherited My starting to We on followed theheelsofnationalists. wereAfrica's was consciousness shapedby Our intellectuals. popularity political The of of ketsandthereby market-based precisely African academy like fire myspread a forest inthepost-independence economic way. basedidentities-either ordivision labor. liticalviolencehad to be either thanbetween violencethatcut across social classes rather face of political but nor them-violencethatwas neither revolutionary counterrevolutionary in crafted mainly distinctions by violenceanimated nonrevolutionary. political ationofpostcolonial on that of we a central assumption: wereconvinced theimpact colonialism our African In followed political economic. wrote How Europe Walter Rodney crime colonialism. of But Underdeveloped Africa. the of marked beginning a history these that colonial contact and them culturally. The secondwas in processes.1 no one wrote howEuroperuled tool economy themostappropriate to was We wereconvinced political that of contributionunthe The great cometoanalytical with coloniallegacy. evenifin a narrowly becauseithistoricized colonialrealities. grips of the was derdevelopment theorists to historicize construction colonialmareconoidentities.50 ? 2001 SocietyforComparative 651 . economically. two a Politicaleconomy provided way of countering kindsof colonialpreThe was of embedded various in theories modernization. thedecadethat societies was mainly of focused theexpropriation on intellectuals nationalist militant independence.2 first that sumptions. went schoolinthecologeneration generfirst We after and nialperiod to university independence. political to surface thefaceofpostcolonial political marketfrom clash between a could onlyexplainviolencewhenit resulted of Fromthis poclass of point view. of as thenative thegreat Africa. for as began analysis The limits political of economy a framework political for economy in violence. In the or revolutionary counterrevolutionary. was to colonialism presumed haveanimated politically. simply from economy-exthan colonial rather sprouting thesoilofa commodity law 0010-4175/01/651-664 Studyof Societyand History $9. colonialcultures werenotgrounded historical since for societies.

tendency to discussagency an institutional by Marxists calledthe to on focusing how it was harnessed thecolonialproject. in of only The question institutions rulehas surfaced recently. willrecognize . Second. True. of giventhat that rationale colonialism alwaystheneedfortutelage. West. the for was law to and Africans weresaidto lackthecapacity buildstablestates a durable andorder. Bothbeand called them"collaborators. was a bitsuspicious.It was said that to and "racism" existas something in a positivist real. the a breakdown political institutions an eruption internal and it calledtheliteraan of generally genre literature. the tionalists Marxists-historicized political nor as that particular politcomplex reproduced colonialstate a legal/institutional in void.realized these thought. willarguethat processof state but market-based identities also from not identities aredistinct onlyfrom that tendency rootcausesofvito a identities. is not they collapse.Butthepoint it of that collapsing. political ethnicity. I that do On second Africanists havea point.652 MAHMOOD MAMDANI clarity. has stimulated entire in WhenI first heardofthecrisisof governance postture state on collapse. It justany There a state is haveis toogeneral. political are If we which institutions these? we lookatthecrisis closely.First. cultural political and I willdifferentiate between it me noneofus-neithernaTo return thetimeofRodney. however. poof the to hereis totry understand spread nonrevolutionary My objective in assumptions two from widelyheld culturalist liticalviolenceby breaking formation generates political I the ways. strikes that to the of legacyofcolonialism. and Marxists nationalists nor was ethnicity cultural race biological.facedwith growing cultural ominously calleda clashofcivilizations3 difference-now olenceincultural identities.And I remembered as influence Hamites.4 I to I colonial Africa referred as a state collapse." agents"compradors" nationalists "race" and as whileassuming moaned "tribe" "tribalism" colonialconcoctions.But are Africa that collapsing. thefaceof of of of In conflict. failedto historicize the of stand extent which to colonialinstitutions shapetheagency thecoldid onized.also remembered state as thepeak ofhuman in as of Hamitic which tookall evidence state-buildingAfrica the hypothesis. sense. is specifically whatremains thecolonialstatein state is is Africa's institutions in crisis. The was ical identities. underto of we was to theexclusion institutions.Neither to as identities undergirded reand tried historicize andethnicity political race had becauseneither yetmanaged by produced colonialinstitutions-perhaps on Becauseouremphasis agency sufficient distance from legacy. less economy offered and less analytical in planations rooted political of for of explanations an Thislimit provided opening a secondcoming cultural of resurgence the mostobviously thoseaddressing political conflict. rebeing for to the considered capacity membered tradition Aristotle Hegelthat the from I the life historical achievement. that analytical agency. considered blackbutnotNegro.

political All are I find problems this with kindofargument. goes under nameofPanby name. The solution I willargue differently both to back theEuropeans address"statecollapse."or evenin "recolobringing as more nization" presumably benign Africans.Well. recently. beingclaimedmore witheach new boundary latedintoshifting boundaries. ever.Ethiopia. the natural theprevious With growing than becameporous.5 After the nature that of was never abletodefine institutional arguingin cleansing the I the rightly. In wouldnotcutthrough wouldbe "natural.Thatis thelanguage law." meaning they its the should map. certainly theglobalization followed collapseof and theSovietbloc-a development gavefinance that capitala truly globalreach. theentire by eriMuseveni government until Rwanleaders: those from of tobe referred as the"newgeneration" Africa's to believethat crisis is state and da. sincethey in would a ruler a mapat a conference inBerlin the1880s. EuThereby. Ali Mazruioncesuggested. other havefollowed cultural mapofAfrica words. howpower finance of capital." he community. illogically-that problem Africa Davidsonthought. political of until address institutional-political-legacy colonialrule.calledthe evenhas an organization that Africanism.Legal distinctions different all oth- .6 by lie Africa's boundaries. up a case weredrawn with penciland cial-in theAfrican moreso. andconquest War of mobility fithe the Thiswas particularly case before eraoftheextraordinary the of that nancecapital.what on table wouldbe that they be genuine boundaries? Fromthis point viewtheanswer of ethnic boundaries. that the mapofAfrica. the we THE COLONIAL STATE AND LEGALLY INSCRIBED IDENTITIES its to Thereis a language state. boundaries artificial. political boundaries a stateare thoseof a common of cultural state-thatthenatural but Basil state.think-that curseled to thepoliticsof ethnic the in was he and Balkans. tendency This in by with headquarters Kampalapatronized theYowPan-African Congress. including colonialverparticular themodern from are of sion. used phalanx what of and. hebrought real in ropeignored us right backtothequestion colonialboundaries.OVERCOMING THE POLITICAL LEGACY OF COLONIALISM 653 inthe particularly political the legacyofcolonialrule. often transBefore era ofmobilefinance the shifting powerrelations capital. atitsheart institutional stitutions colonialrule. Libya. Davidsoncalledthis"thecurseof thenation curse. Europe ignored ethnic state So Africa's traditions drawing boundaries. argued-wrongly. to nonearenatural. of does notlie in from theseschools. no matter For how Nordoesthesolution inredrawing crisis the willremain much redraw we incomprehensible boundaries. Eritrea. one.The Pan-Africanists becausetheseboundaries wereand are artifia crisisof colonialboundaries. boundaries all and The realproblem with point viewis theassumption cultural this of that and thatthe stateshouldbe a nationboundaries shouldcoincide. two havealways beenintegral state-building. of It the to Thereis also a secondresponse thecrisis.

actually potentially. of it boundaries around In suchan instead checking bydrawing abledpower no arrangement. a race. Therewas in factan entire and then then Arabs. natives nonnatives. of bounded The effects. ethnicalwereidentified Nonnatives had nonnatives no ethnicity.theworld customary andtheworld civil law. I wouldliketo takea closerlookat Before forcivilized goingfarther." Asians." thus-as a racenizedas a transethnic form was to which a short to of togainadmission theworld rights. even with different effects. not preIf civil ethnicities. aulaw of thelanguage rights.andhadto observe the Forcivicpowerwas tobe exercised in did The of of thesanctity thedomain rights.654 MAHMOOD MAMDANI by reproduced inand are by they enforced thestate. of we of and (which thetwoworlds: world thenative theworld thesettler the the of with shallsee was notalwayssynonymous "nonnative"). Civil soor of as wereconsidered members. Europeans-meaning ly. world ethnicilaw of of of tiesandtheworld races. even influence." in madea distinction law between The colonialstate in Whatis thedifference lawbeI Thisis thequestion wouldliketobeginwith. with racial hierarchy. Thecolonial civil through law.It claimedto setlimits power. Each into the state divided population two:racesandethnicities. willrecognize theoriginal of but scription as a historical was civilsociety under colonialism racism. Whilecivil law spoke customary through Ethnicities weregoverned of of customary spokethelanguage tradition. civilsociety. distincLet me return mybasic point. society. custom enforced. between Is tween raceandan ethnicity? itthedifference a if Not raceandcultural ethnicity? really. language rights within ruleoflaw. by whites-atthetop. civilsociety. to weresaidtobelong ethnic onlynatives Africa. opposite Theseweredifferent languages thenticity. tion between types persons: two observation-Iwillhavea second in a word. to Coloniallaw madea fundamental not and of those indigenous those "Africans. state.In indirect-rule not racially. It it Forcustomary was notracially law specific. first My and Natives to had to not one later-is that belonged nonnatives. was ethnically . look. to natives. then followed "Coloureds. then inturn are ersinthat within state. youtakea closer between biological groups.we understand society as anidealized ciety excluded sin that we construct. language custom. ifindifa Raceswereconsidered civilizing Hamites Tutsi). laws. and biology culture. whileethnicities civilized. of The of enfor was notcircumscribe power. and as identity. Law Customary law all was a In theindirect-rule there never single customary for natives. to law. (the to wereconsidered be in direneed of being ferent degrees. contrast.They Racesweregoverned legal livedina different universe. made specific. language custom it. ruleoflaw was possible. the citizen participation stitutions structure that "race"and"ethnicity. rights of to was to Nationalism a struggle natives be recoglive according custom.

" as colonialpowersought construct to native unchanging singular. will of Evenifthere wereno tional and specificity theprinciple a balanceofpower. for must donatea chicken the coulddecidethat every peasant example.thechief term. contrast.7 and Here. theendoftheterm. as authority unnoting onlyoneofthese-chiefs-was sanctified a native that derindirect-rule and its of was "gencolonialism. thority Africa to enforce owncustomary So went logicofinhad direct rule. we conwas Second. in havethree things mind. defined so If meant was under central supervision.Ifthepeasant decidewhere puthimto work to then wouldarrest him. in ities. then calledtribes. spent years different parts One stoodoutin all areas.thissingle native the of authority under colonial trast modeoforganization civilandcustomary the Civicauthority organized thebasisoffuncwas on rule. chief At the wouldreleasehimand his during prison of himto pay theunpaidportion theoriginal as well as a fineon tax. had "historical" nation Europe itsownstate. wouldreturn collecttax. chief . decolonization thority likea local state rid the state.women's groups. wereinother aspects: relationship the the and theyear wouldenumerate peasant's property assessit began. point be clear. thepeasant tax was dissatisfied. only version custom declared uine. appealed thechief. to he to failed thechief madea ruling. For provided they notcontradictnational pass andenforce bylaws. require couldalso failed payitinthefirst to place. the elections.IfEuropehadnations.OVERCOMING THE POLITICAL LEGACY OF COLONIALISM 655 in ethnic groups. paythetax.distinction law. every If history. precolonial in Therewerethusage eral.andtheadministrative moments power. point that but Africa saidtohaveethnicwas hadtohaveitsownlaw. chief After If he to for matter how different ofthecountry.every in the in its law. there the between executive. so on. was a cleardistinction In thejudicial.Each of thesedefined custom its own domain. comThe colonialstatewas from pointof view an ethnic this Each nativeaueach ethnically.Thissamechief topofitfor having a did law.letme simply that answer question I as wouldneedto takea closerlook at whatcolonialism constructed custom. whatshoulddecologetting of thecolonialpowerfrom central in I a this nization havemeant thelocal state? wrote bookabout in 1996. in I chaired commission inquiry local government Ugandatheyear on a of We two in after President Museveni cametopower.called the one say to Citizen Subject.between a eachethnic group The is Thiswasnota cultural a legaldistinction. different a horizontal distinction. but Africa nothavea singlecustomary did authority. federation. sevFirst.It is worth and groups. chiefs. native of the on of was authority organized thebasisofa fusion power. and If as authority reorganized despotic. clans. If in to every tribe Africa had to have its own nativeauthority enter native auits every nation-state Europepromulgated own civiclaw. legislative."Therest silenced. prising manynativeauthorities. religious groups. sanctifying authoritarian In the version wereofficially custom as of custom "genuine. thing they the and When the between chief thepeasant.

wonder what to to subjects follow Sharialaw. racesandethnicities the between is My secondobservation that distinction The hicolonizers colonized." thecycleoflifewenton.656 MAHMOOD MAMDANI combined So of purposes "development. other into of The werecolonizers. virtual. in hishandsexecutive. The chief powers. so on. beganto meet we to Whenwe returned Kampalafrom district enduring impresmost The ficials theMinistry Local Government. somereal. of that that legaldomain. Whileeach ethnicity were rights. theministry education.Every every ment from was or industry. coloof erarchy racesincluded all whereas and words. nizeddivided thoseindigenous thosenot. included of and not roads. weredifferentiated civilized than others. nonindigenous Subject or wereconstructed as and theIndiansofEast. ject ethnicities worth like raceswereeither of immigrants. application humans for evenifGod's law maynotchange I to to we earth susceptible change. When judicial. emphasis coron customary wasthegreat law Thethird common thing about the definition a customary of say You poralpunishment. all nonnatives races of racesand subject races. there great is needtohistoricize I law inthecolonialcontext. Africa.and of tiveandthejudiciary. they .others there werecitizens different of categories. former grasping. think needparticularly look at twoasis the the between execucontext: fusion pectsof Sharialaw in thepostcolonial (ijtihad). hierarchy not natives werecolonized. a fraction thelatter.primary-but hospital-health. fingers ofour tours. was theheart thecolonialstate. The Ministry Local I that was theminthis the was within state. of Its of for except one.Who werethesubject race included master indirect-rule Africa? They were the Indiansof East. realized Government likea state of It for istry peasants. Someracesweresaidtobe more civilizational hierarchy. thegrowing emphasis Hudud. Centraland Southern and the the theArabs of Zanzibar. agriculture. couldalmost that very to that right was authority an authority had thecustomary to use force coerce to I extent mayalso apply Sharia this custom.think on its by historically. closedandthehandbecamea clenched his he facedthepeasant.andadministrative legislative. racesandsubbetween Africa.Similarly. concerns tionally specific feeder-butnotmajornot primary-but secondary-education. CivicLaw a and weredemarcated horizontally weresaid to represent Whileethnicities and a vertically weresaidtoreflect cultural races diversity.theMinistry Local Government. is. fist.except civillaw was full discriminations.Central Southern Africa. and between was notthesameas thedistinction the and bothcolonizers colonized. single at of of the me awaywith was howdifferent Ministry Local GovernsionI carried it lineministry-be that other ministry I knewof. andtherefore said to havea claimto higher a within single was saidtohaveitsowncustomary raceswereconstituted law. theexclusion judicialinterpretation to that corporal on punishment. health-was funcfinance. Tutsiof Rwanda and Burundi. distinction of The "Coloureds" Southern subject were the is Whilebothwerecolonized.

anidentity wouldsplinter nationalism In anticolonial a colonialstate. in the function. under colonialstate. by nonindigenous thecolonial subFinally. would nationalism whereasconservative settlers withconquerors. colonialism? nicities. ofnonnatives. treatment as a consequence. into and indigeneity a test we fact that havebuilt uponthisfoundation turned state. ethnicities subject In da andBurundi." was ic themaster-"We sick"-and whenthemaster tired. contrast.OVERCOMING THE POLITICAL LEGACY OF COLONIALISM 657 of the example. outafter play POSTCOLONIAL DILEMMAS the arisesfrom growing The dilemmas.notsubject tivesat master state. itslegally ethracesand subject and subject law. contrast militant to effort de-racialize a common counterpart howthe sphere.itis important distinguish spokeof the To identity.for powers. needtofocus thecharacter conservativesharedwithits radical nationalism Mainstream mainstream-nationalism. had and. even contradictory intotwo distinct. wereindigenous. would Radical nationalism tendencies. law never from "settler" a political as by a libelhurled nawas "Settler" rather political only settlers. myknowledge. either stateor the a ject racesusuallyperformedmiddleman and economically privilege by was marked petty position and market. Africa's authentic law of regime customary with and Indigeneity Rights continued be reto and indigeneity rights To understand thelinkbetween why of on we after produced colonialism.8 thecourseoftime. identify the wouldbelong 1959 In latter category them all identify with immigrants. distinguished of races. itsownideological preferential the was the As MalcolmX putit.when master sick. their legally. races both master included "nonnative" Precisely becausethelegalcategory as "nonnative" a legalidentity to andsubject races. first I willspeakofthree postcolonial test under postthe to for tendency indigeneity becomethelitmus forrights the arisesfrom The seconddilemma the as colonialstate. by Itwas undergirded a conquest from conquerors immigrants. enforced with inheritance. treatment preferential recallsanother ethnicities racesandsubject subject between The distinction by context MalcolmX." former thefield the and privilege by too in This thelatter themansion.The third underthe postcolonial forjustice. how in is My mainconcern thisarticle thefollowing: does thisinstitutional distinctions between racesandethnicities. Tutsi Rwansuchas. distinction was marked petty effects.and thusforentitlement constructed a to the arisesfrom growing tendency identifycolonially dilemma tradition.mainstream . In to civicrights.The notion "settler" races. HouseNegrowouldmim"Wetired. to nationalists weredetermined de-ethnicize customary who as the nationalists pledgedto reproduce customary theauever.this in in Revolution Rwandaandthe1963Revolution Zanzibar. civillaw andcustomary rights custom. Thisis thedistinction in distinction drawn a different and in the between "FieldNegro"andthe"HouseNegro.

Let us ponder by territory state It the of meaning thisdeclaration. weregivena bonus:customary those indigenous all citizens.thedemocratic opposition Mobutushowedlittle Naas Organized theCongolese the question. labormigrants.As a reInworld by t-he sat designed thesettler. repudiate coloniallegacyonthis organizations of hundred society civil a tional Conference. addition civilrights over indigenous nonindigenous privilege rights. In North speaking The were and Banyarutshuru Banyamasisi. onlytheformer for thoseethnito distinguish between authority wouldhave Locally. and who of arosethequestion defining was indigenous who In thiscontext as a whole. havethe and authority ethnically thus How do youtellwho of person. point that privileging indigenous thenonindigenous.there of population Kivu. My but the we turned colonialworld upsidedown. wondered the indigenous. Banyamasisi onlymovedto Congoin thecolonialperiod. Congo was to digenous thelandandthoseto be considered in of If notandis notan exception. and to is indigenous thecountry whois In 1997. the cepts establishmentthecolonial inbetween those be considered to the thedateestablishing lineofdemarcation The immigrants.Within country and wereindigenous whichoneswere ethnic groups one had to decidewhich own. .658 MAHMOOD MAMDANI repronationalists mainstream of As tradition Africa. sult.a and the line is thedividing between indigenous thenonindigenous? of for a colleagueand I undertook mission theCouncilfortheDevelopment The parin in (CODESRIA) to KivuProvince Congo. a consequence. digeneity is level. onlytheformer of right custom. thentic though. eachnative wouldbelongto thenative for and callyindigenous thosenot. in the state wavered itslegaltreatIt is worth that noting whereas Mobutist a of in ment colonialmigrants. answer disarmingWe werenot. for In to citizens. type indigenous Let us beginwith first the what of not?Givena history migration. both central thelocal levels.albeit we African states. Social Research Africa dilemma theKinyarwandaof was thecitizenship ticular focusofthemission weretwo KinyarwandaKivu. democratic political in then a as an with ancestor living the law in 1991definingCongolese anyone the demarcated Belgiansas thecolonyof Congo. former considered groups: speaking was The why.gathering overfour the one passed a opposition and nearly hundred groups. latter Belgiancolopredated whosepresence unliketheBanyarutshuru. we did notchangeit. native on thetopofthepolitical the for remained test rights. we look at thedefinition citizenship most with some the liveson. the the at and was not.thelevelof dialectic also playedoutatthemicro The native-settler are neither law Where authority thenative customary norcustomary authority. ly simple: as had the nization. willrealizethat colonialstate the over is in reforms. of authority their to havea right a native would not. 1972evengoingtothepoint passing decree of on as all that recognized citizens thosewhohad beenresident Congolesesoil inclination to to since 1959. ducedtheduallegacyofcolonialism. hopedto they Thistime around. meansthat independent of Congo acdate of of state Congoas itsofficial ofbirth.

too the to about rights.OVERCOMING THE POLITICAL LEGACY OF COLONIALISM 659 is reproduced authentic as trarealm uncritically de-ethnicized. greater number nonand the the Here. contemporary an was a signalfor exodus:those Therewas a time whena clashofthissort on head. more power by dynamic defining a or citizen either native a settler! as we keepon defining every Indigeneity Entitlements and the to arisesfrom very dilemma struggle decolonize.uni-ethnic. The secondpostcolonial it? law as the reproducing Just customary How do you address pastwithout as ethnicities a claim between and madea distinction indigenous nonindigenous and between civil law made a distinction forgrouprights. trend for nonindigenous arm militia theconin in Thus of themselves self-defense. dilemma are or of the the ethnic. not I we Atthis point suggest pauseandaskourselves questions. ing:thecommodity and and capitalists all types thetop. thestatepenalizesthose dilemma: commodity the economy Evenwith colonial the them settlers. landandother text ethnically of driven clashesaround is two First. aboutrights areless andless racial. particularly right landand and ethnic clashesaremore more inwith thoseidentified itas ethnically that to a native authority can empower Congo.their branded is them fight out.andthedefinition rights mono. as gone. differently. or Nigeria. clashes are postcolonial period less andless racial. to it one theshift from homeward a to flight a tendency fight outwhere is resThatimmigrants ident that of enough thedefinition homehas changed? proof the of That ofyesterday nowbecomeindigenous? wereitnotfor form the have wouldbe today's immigrants state itsdefinition indigeneity. theproliferation armed rights. For evidence. . residents insideeach native indigenous but dynamizes.whatis likely be ourfuture thesetendencies is The dilemma thefollowForifthey clasheswillincrease. not do.Now. greater movement of tiveauthorities.Faced with to it thedirection home. law.thetendency for of the into that the a native population two. others considered and sidered indigenous disempowering of inevitably leadstoan unraveling themovethis Theirony that dialectic is in for ment built as nationalist thecolonialperiod. thenonindigenous the in up The moreandmoreethnic. indigenous nonit raceswhenitcameto entitlements.andrunin belongings their nonindigenous wouldleave. conempowering those ethnically. thetime facedmilitant From indigenous "native" enstate defined War after nationalist opposition World II. thecolonial in to for titlements response thestruggle justice.the RiftValleyin look at Kivu in eastern of at peasants jobless workers acrossnathe the the below. themorethemovement. authority.pitting inauthority divides resident to is the the the digenous against nonindigenous. is the Theconsequence todivide population nonindigenous. thestructural is authority. traders economy movespeopleat thetopandthebottom.The moredynamic economy. customary the on is The hereis that whilethepopulation theground multidition. Put moreandmoreethnic. and of yesterday's if continue? citizens? to Second. decrease. Kenya.then.

was rejected. bidfor expropriaany against future to an theminimum attempt getlegal protection home. hopeson their law.theUgandan as in be that turned demanded they listed thenewconstitution oneofUganda's as was this indigeneity seenbymany at Not ethnic groups. was true of of lution" 1959 and of theArabsof Zanzibarin theZanzibarRevolution of theAsiansof Ugandain to though a lesserextent. that Thismeans ofNigeria. of Theresponse thesubject Asianswhohad rein al discussions Ugandain theearly1990s.they they forpower. surprisingly. army-must and. by is perhaps illustrated theNigerian best entitlement as the legalbasisfor as federation. theonlydurable there be no survival can that ble is an armed peace. case of theUgandan them. Rwandan ofRwanda. dilemma indigeneity and settlers postcolonial into postcolonial case. their native and with complete a customary homeland. maximally getaccess to landas an ethnic way for opted a different ArabsofZanzibar The it ingly. thecivilservice.In thefirst viointernal worst races. thesetwotypesof cases lies in thefollowing: between 1972.The difference as racesmadea bid forpower. It was also true. disenfranchising as in the meta response expulsion. for Afrikaner have agitated an ethnic poor the Zanzibar Arabroutes: mainly that authority own home. indeed.this phase. sities. and of was seento be fortheprotection privilege nota quest Asians. is their conclusion that a to havereached conclusion is moreof a cul-de-sac: peace possithat without power. of character theNigerian to I amreferring specifically theethnic institutions-univerthat in provision keyfederal embodied theconstitutional character" the reflect "federal the civilservice.conservative sisfor natives yesterday's nationalism-havesucceededin redividing mainstream of The natives. Rwandain 1959-1963 and 1994. as which went faras including the During constitutionraceshas beendiverse. to entrance federal to universities.66o MAHMOOD MAMDANI phase. returning andprivato gavefullsupport liberalization they the to secure sameobjective: against action the to and tization.Certainly most Tutsialso seem the the Like theIsraelisafter Holocaust. in Zanzibarin 1963 and in Wherethesubject demand their Where wereslaughtered. thereby narrowing scopeofcitizenship-based Asian and the boththeUgandan have taken The Boersof SouthAfrica them. those . in eachstate theNigeWhere is quotasaresetfor andtothearmy quotadriven. two has of The history entitlements gonethrough phases. for to mayqualify a quota.Also notsurpristo and tion.This indigenous thestate rian only federation. 1963.Africa's were entitlements at theexpenseofsubject racesunas thosedefined subject has period targeted lenceinthepostcolonial bothoftheTutsiofRwandain the"socialrevoThis dercolonialism. as of of It is thesecondphasein thedevelopment theculture entitlement a into indigeneity thebaof showstherealdilemma turning form justicethat of of African regimes-thebearers In entitlement. can enforce owncustomary whiletherichhavepinned its for demands from majority salvation as and liberalization privatization their theTutsi comesfrom response and tragic troubling the justice.

Cultural communities rooted a common do notnecesin past havea common sarily future. The effective elements the of Nigerian federation neither are territorial calledstates. For that to we wouldneedto turn thesecond. return myoriginal to formulation: more economy the the dynamizes. to and variant nationalism.with each new state. number Nigerians the of defined nonindigenous all its as in states continues grow. itsownnative authority. Thelawthus penalizes those whotry fashion future to a different the from past by mechanically cultural political translating into We identities. myview. is every ethnic in group Nigeria compelled is sooner later seekitsownethnic or to home. do culture politics. cumulative to The outcome tointensify contradicis the tionbetween economic political and I processes. militant. butthoseethnic groups havetheir that ownstates. The ethnic character theNigerian of federation an outcome has that reinforces tendencies. The irony thetragedy that postindependence and are our political arrangement disenfranchises most those energized thecommodity by economy. theidea of is our of for is "custom" closely tiedtotheidea of"native.OVERCOMING THE POLITICAL LEGACY OF COLONIALISM 66I all meansthat Nigerians resident outside their ancestral homeare considered in nonindigenous thestate which in they reside. Somemayhavea diasporic future. ownstate theNigerian its in federation. thus characterized culand be by tural even is diversities. political communities include may immigrants. morethepolity the disenfranchises.not a common butbya resolve forge common by past to a under sinfuture a glepolitical of roof. also includes silenced thesame emancipatory legaciesofficially by . point that The is political communities defined. given way"federal the character" defined. initiatives tried makethisshift. werethoseofTanzania underthe leadership JuliusNyerere of and the NationalResistance its Movement during guerilla in struggle Ugandafrom 1981to 1986. Similarly. ethnic units nor groups. keyexperiences. be Militant nationalist initiatives weretakenfrom boththeseat of powerand from The oppositional in standpoints." the Rethinking Customary Regime is Custom not version rescued built and justtheauthoritarian uponbycolonial It power. the One wayofdoingso is to accent common residence overcommon descentthe indigeneity-as basis ofrights. Second. the are in final analysis. Ourchallenge todefine is political identities distinct as from cultural identities. Oncethe law makescultural the identity basis forpolitical it identity.without denying there that maybe a significant overlap between two. is of It militant nationalism tried deethnicize colonialpolitical that to the legacyand thereby repudiate notion indigeneity the that should thebasisofrights. regardless howdifferentsimilar or their pastsmaybe. two First. ifthere a dominant culture a history signifying shared by the majority. needto recognizethat pastandthefuture the as overlap. they and but are notthesamething. inevitably turns ethnicity a political into identity. Ourfinalchallenge also to rethink notion custom.

has its If is and tiple. the law by "customary" enforced an ethnicized ethnicized under civiclaw andof governed was of legaldefinition nonnatives as citizens law. state. Africa. In the the With modern political mation. or as of We areused to thinking identities either class as saw generally "real"identities market-based identiwingintellectuals Thoseonthe or and and suchas "worker" "capitalist. anismas an authentic homesin the had customary authority twobig African crafted Colonially the While apartheid was the One period. wasNigeria." ties. hasboth pastanda future. point that through than consent more through of be can Consensus only born cona it dition grows. even whonowcall for rights. the fossilfrom past. reproduction tobe traliving every is My coercion. andnationalism.civilsociety. civilrights. of of is or be that cannot questioned changed. that communities sharea common forof of a as needtobe understood specifically consequence thehistory state in are identities inscribed law. "customary" as has custom heidtransition kept this dismissed legacyas "antiHavingatfirst rights. itis no longer for ethnicities.Thispoint view authoritaria and buttressing. salvaging domestic has beenkeyto identifying. arelegally . identiof as wereto be understood expressions prepolitical identities political literahad arena. that Bothagreed was of that had right a habit arguing the"real"identity cultural. self-determination. customary woulditbe an exagunder governed natives tribespersons as aparttransition givenus a nonracial has the to geration saythat postapartheid heid? POLITICAL IDENTITY: A METHODOLOGICAL CONSIDERATION Leftmarket-based cultural. and thorities. diverse. other SouthAfrica. of identiidentities expressions cultural as also to see political in dency theleft on is wayto that social on giving ties." "landlord" "tenant. colonial the as authority antidemocratic. The left itsverifying the ties-"real" identities-in political on and had and ture class struggle revolution. theleft from ecoas identities distinct of I want suggest needtothink political the to of are If identities a consequence thehisidentities. are of nor custom sources custom singular. Whilethenewgovernment South did duallegalstructure-as apartheid it withan and civillaw." African has SouthAfrica a As postapartheid as of thecustomary "tradition. "customary" the has to National Congress turned embracing regime the democratic. economic nomic cultural or of of identities thedevelopment and of of tory development markets. one point view. enforced. custom tohaveanymeaning. cultural identities and political language meanings. first they instance.662 MAHMOOD MAMDANI mulBothareplural.The literature class struggle gradually on but intelligentsia also many Thus onlytheright movements. theright itsversion tribalism on tenhas there beena growing SincetheendoftheCold as The idea of custom somekindof geological flict. intact." a result. Neither power. tradition. stillworks has deracialized If native authority. postapartcustomary to tended debunk struggle au"customary" homes.

You understand relationship thestate. to a the and the rethink institutional legacyof colonialism. citizens and the as these institutions unified minority rights-bearing direct rule. or cultural. understand inclusion exclusion this From race and legally defined inscribed orethnicity.and theinstitutional of was notjust abouttheidentity of Colonialism ferent categories citizens. Theseidentities legally group italso creates through to and Theyshapeourrelationship thestate tooneanother lyenforced. was evenmore about ingovernors. is abouthowthey difwhichtheyorganize identities and through by ern. stateinstitutions bethen ethnicity. custom-driven the as fragmented majority so many on was the ed that is what legaldiscourse raceandethnicity all about. minorities. a consequence yourlegallyinscribed from or rights entitleor your you Similarly. forexample. ments basedon your as need of bothraceandethnicity to be understood political-not point view. To or authorities? oppose of defined states native as do thenumber ethnically chauvinforces with ethnic that wouldbe seentobe joining however. or of The tendency theleft beentothink thelaw as individuating disof has just But creating falseidentities. to your is legalidentity racial.I haveargued. doesnot in to a party a contractof ing-the owner a commodity themarket. or also that disenfranchised? demanding each ethnicity haveitsown state By If constitution?so. only there wereno majorities. do in native authority. contrast.OVERCOMING THE POLITICAL LEGACY OF COLONIALISM 663 and of you If thelaw recognizes as member an ethnicity. evenbiological-identities. I havesuggestethnicities. theAfrican in the Thiscorecoloniallegacyis at therootofourdilemma. then your of the through mediation defined groups to legally andyour relationship other identity. which govthe they through it govern. of as thelaw and of thestate. thestatedisenfranchises form thestate:theeconomy those In whatare we to do? How do we support mostdynamic. dilemma the That of thecontext mydiscussion theNigerian of the and of dynamizes.thelawrecognizes as a member a racialgroup. they DEMOCRACY AND INSTITUTIONS: A CONCLUSION are Moreimand is Democracy notjustaboutwhogoverns howthey chosen. of In also form starting the point ourstruggles. youbecomean ethnic particular of treat as member that you of you if By inglegally. demand. thusto challenge idea . thiscontext. is The ists. institutions portant. so doing. thenewEthiopian as.Inthis as called "natives.twentieth-century Thus ethnicized minorities.potential inscribed legaland are identities. thelaw does not classesandthus aggregating beas eachperson an abstract justtreat It it individuate. oneI defined is federation." identity the steadofracializing colonizedintoa majority rule direct indirect dismantled did nineteenth-century rule. thestate. will sincethenumber minorities grow of the we notrisk multiplying problem. the or it so that werewhite European. they inDuring to to they stitutions created enablea minority ruleovera majority. itwas saidthat this into racialized majority so many in colonies.Is there wayoutofthisdilemma? onlywayout.also collates.

CollapsedStates:TheDisintegration Restoration 1995).g. and Subject:Contemporary and theLegacy 7. Ali Mazrui. HowEuropeUnderdeveloped 2. Basil Davidson. 208." "The London Review Books22. ofLate Colonialism (Princeton: Does a Settler Becomea Native? Reflections on 8. SamuelHuntington. International Need BenignColonization. . theColonialRootsof Citizenship Equatorial South in and Africa.664 MAHMOOD MAMDANI and political rights. us reconsider coloniallegacy to in It that that eachofus is either native a settler. and of 3.. See. 1971). petrated evengreater and as self-assertion. Legitimate Authority (Boulder. Aug.1996). consider colonialism was the an crime. Mahmood Africa Mamdani. suggest go beyond conventional I we the and that percolonialism toexpropriate indigenous. Uses ofRacism. Clash of Civilizations theRemaking The 1996). Thatgreater crime topoliticize was indigeneity. See Mahmood "When Mamdani. and of 4. Immanuel Wallerstein. political justicefirst that must we define political identity. "Decaying Parts Africa of 2. World Order (NewYork:SimonandSchuster. BlackMan'sBurden: (New York:TimesBooks. e." Inaugural Lecture. The Africa theCurseofthe and Nation-State 5. William Zartman. 13 May 1998. Colo. Herald Tribune. first a settler against native. of University Cape Town. thought the crime that real of In sum. then a native as libel the NOTES Africa (Dar-es-Salaam: TPH. CODESRIA Bulletin (Dakar: CODESRIA. in Let the and foremost relation indigeneity.10(18 of May 2000):11-14.1992). also see. Walter Rodney. 1994. Rienner.: L. 4 1994). See. I. is with compass handthat a or we must fashion political our world. New Seriesno. 1." 6. Citizen Princeton University Press.