Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226510934 Will Publish February 2018
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226510767 Will Publish February 2018
An e-book edition will be published.

The Politics of Custom

Chiefship, Capital, and the State in Contemporary Africa

Edited by John L. Comaroff and Jean Comaroff

The Politics of Custom

Edited by John L. Comaroff and Jean Comaroff

368 pages | 3 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226510934 Will Publish February 2018
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226510767 Will Publish February 2018
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9780226511092 Will Publish February 2018
How are we to explain the resurgence of customary chiefs in contemporary Africa? Rather than disappearing with the tide of modernity, as many people expected, indigenous sovereigns are instead a rising force, often wielding substantial power and legitimacy despite massive changes in the workings of the global political economy in the post-Cold War era.
This path-breaking volume, edited by anthropologists John L. Comaroff and Jean Comaroff, explores the reasons behind the increasingly assertive politics of custom in many corners of Africa. Chiefs come in countless guises—from university professors to cosmopolitan businessmen to subsistence farmers–but, whatever their formal role, they are the key to understanding the tenacious hold that traditional authority enjoys in the late-modern world. Together the contributors explore this counterintuitive chapter in Africa’s history and, in so doing, place it within the broader world-making processes of the twenty-first century.    
Editorial Note

One. Chiefs, Capital, and the State in Contemporary Africa: An Introduction
John and Jean Comaroff

Two. African Chiefs and the Post–Cold War Moment: Millennial Capitalism and the Struggle over Moral Authority
Peter Geschiere

Three. Chieftaincy, Land, and the State in Ghana and South Africa
Sara Berry

Four. The Salience of Chiefs in Postapartheid South Africa: Reflections on the Nhlapo Commission
Mbongiseni Buthelezi and Dineo Skosana

Five. The Politics of States and Chiefs in Zimbabwe
Jocelyn Alexander

Six. Paramount Chiefs, Land, and Local-National Politics in Sierra Leone
Mariane Ferme

Seven. Republic of Kings: Neotraditionalism, Aristocratic Ethos, and Authoritarianism in Burkina Faso
Benoît Beucher

Eight. Corporate Kings and South Africa’s Traditional-Industrial Complex
Susan Cook

Nine. The Currency of Chieftaincy: Corporate Branding and the Commodification of Political Authority in Ghana
Lauren Adrover

Ten. Fallen Chiefs and Sacrificial Mining in Ghana
Lauren Coyle

Eleven. Colonizing Banro: Kingship, Temporality, and Mining of Futures in the Goldfields of South Kivu, DRC
James Smith

Twelve. Third Contact: Invisibility and Recognition of the Customary in Northern Mozambique
Juan Obarrio
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