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Бочаров В. В.. Власть. Традиції. Управління. Спроба етноісторіче - ського аналізу політичних культур сучасних держав Тропічної Африки, - М.: Наука. Головна редакція східної літератури. - 296 с., 1992 - перейти до змісту підручника


In V. Bocharov's Power. Traditions. Government. (An Attempt at Ethno-Historical Analysis of the Political Cultures of Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa) an attempt is made to overcome the traditional Soviet approach to the study of political relations boiling down to social analysis. The monograph shows the causes of this phenomenon and sets forth the methodology of its research.

The study is centrcd around the political cultures of contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa viewed as stage-heterogeneous formations. The presence of elements pertaining to different evolutionary stages is a property of any political system, though in Africa this is set out in bold relief. Here the political evolution of societies has travelled in one century the path that took Europe millenia to change from the early social genesis to developed industrial societies. The main goal of the monograph is to trace preservation and reproduction of the elements of the preceding states of the system, ie, traditions, in contemporary political cultures of Sub-Saharan states, as well as pinpointing the mechanisms of such reproduction. With this aim in view the book considers all the main stages travelled by African political systems in the course of their historic development during the precolonial, colonial and independence periods. So that the latest period is seen as the result of the entire historical process including the two others.

The principal attention is paid to an analysis of power-govern-ment relations at the early stages of social genesis, of their formation and functioning. Drawing on numerous ethnographic materials on African and other primitive peoples, the author formulates the socio-psychological mechanism which used to provide the power legitimacy at a certain stage of social evolution. This, mechanism, based upon psychological coersion, continues to operate within the structure of power relations at all the subsequent stages of evolution, although the early stages featured it in a most complete form.

The pre-colonial period in the political development of African societies was notable for emergence of supra-community social-governing systems which were to a certain extent opposed to community as the basic form of organized iife among Africans. Within these hierarchic structures featuring such new phenomenon as struggle for power, there appear new forms for organizing power relations, based upon personification of power, personal loyalty , trends for bureaucratization of government, etc. The role of physical pressure in realization of the governmental acti vity is growing, with simultaneous further development of the means of psychological pressure on the governed. Despite certain contradictions emerging between the community and the hierarchy, the latter was built after the pattern of community which provided for its prestige (legitimacy) in the eyes of the community members. At the same time we see a dwindling control of the community over the activity of the hierarchic power structures, since real control had passed to the chief's personal guards.

The colonial period in political development of African societies is seen primarily as a process of interaction of different political cultures: traditional political cultures of African societies, on the one hand, and European political cultures of rational type on the other. This is a period of growing opposition between the community oriented towards a simple reproduction of the forms of activity, and the supracommunal colonial hierarchy trying to introduce innovations into the community's economic life. This is also the time of aggravated contradictions inside the community, which, in precolonial period, used to be nullified by the tradition. This is why the national-Iiberation movement was, on the one hand, the struggle of a community against the colonial hie-* rarchy for a return to pre-colonial forms of social arrangement, and on the other, the struggle of the younger generation for power, when their political aggression was the result of discriminated position in the community whose political structure rested on the age principle, and in the colonial hierarchy where they were relegated to lower levels only.

The monograph also makes a detailed analysis of the British policy of indirect rule which can be considered a large-scale scientific experiment towards a purposeful arrangement of social life. In the course of implementation of this policy we could clearly see the conflict of various traditional political cultures against the rational type political cultures.

The newly acquired political independence of the former colonial territories has not removed the basic conflict within the African political systems - the one that exists between the community and the hierarchy wrhich stands above the community. Moreover, the new party-state structures became even more radical in their penetrating the life of the community, in an effort to control the latter. Methods of physical coercion have been finding ever wider use. Parallel to these, methods of psychological coercion, typical of the pre-colonial society, have also been put to an active use. Political party has become an important de-1 vice of such coercion in the African environment, and so have *

the ideologies of development, officially adopted by the African І states. Here we can also clearly see the conflict between various I political cultures. This phenomenon can be observed in the power-I ful informal political processes taking place in African states. I These processes do not fit into the norms set out in the legal I political documents which, as a rule, reproduce the political rea-I lities of the former metropolian territories. This also finds its I expression in rapid traditionalization of social and political life I

on the African continent.

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