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In Define and Rule , Mahmood Mamdani explores these issues of the native in terms of both colonial historiography and legislative administration. The three-part essay that focuses on the theory of nativism, its practice, and the theory of decolonisation, forms the W. Du Bois Lectures delivered by Mamdani.

The second half of the 19th century witnessed a crisis of empire at both its ends — India and Jamaica, starting with the uprising and closing with the Morant Bay in Jamaica in In the ideological reflection that followed the crisis, the entire colonial mission was redefined — from civilisation to conservation and from progress to order. According to Mamdani, as a political identity the native was the creation of the intellectuals of the empire in crisis.

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Define and Rule : Native as Political Identity

The key figure he identifies as Sir Henry Maine, who reflected on the post crisis of the British Empire in India. The first chapter discusses the mode of indirect rule, both as an intellectual reflection on the midth century crisis of empire as evidenced in its seminal theoretician, Sir Henry Maine, and as a set of colonial reforms designated to ameliorate this crisis in India, the British colony of Malaya and the Dutch East Indies.

5. Conclusion

If the social became the privileged theoretical arena for understanding the nature and dynamics of society in the west, that privilege was given to the domain of culture in the non-West. In the east aristocracies became religious, while in the west they were civil or political. Customary law in India for Maine tended to be rooted in the ground as the peasant and his crops, while the civil law of the west could travel globally.

Mamdani continues to lead these binary modes toward the formulation of the idea of history and law in terms of the past and the future possibilities: If the production of the past is the stuff of history writing, the securing of a future is the domain of law-making.

Review of Mahmood Mamdani, Define and Rule: Native as Political Identity

It seeks to examine, via more than a decade of immersion and research, one instance of how popular organisation and mobilisation have been mediated through shifting political identities. It argues that if discourse professionals on the left are to become effective actors it will be necessary to take popular political identities a lot more seriously, and to enable mutually transformative engagement between theory and actually-existing forms of popular striving and struggle.

Gordon Lewis R. Nsibande Zodwa interview Durban 27 November.


  • Kennedy on Mamdani, 'Define and Rule: Native as Political Identity' | H-Diplo | H-Net.
  • Double Consciousness (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
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Robinson Cedric J. Author: Richard Michael Pithouse 1. Keywords: political identities ; popular politics ; Durban ; South Africa. Restricted Access.

The Holberg Lecture, by Laureate Paul Gilroy | Holbergprisen

Add to Cart. THE W. Du Bois Lectures. Daniel Schwartz, author of Ghetto: The History of a Word , wrote at Time about the use of the term to describe heavily segregated urban areas in the United States ; Literary Hub published an excerpt from the book. Join Our Mailing List.


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