African Political Thought by G. Martin

By G. Martin

Focusing on person political thinkers and starting with indigenous African political notion, the e-book successively examines African nationalism, African socialism, populism and Marxism, Africanism and pan-Africanism, concluding with modern views on democracy, improvement and the African state.

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To the extent that he turned from considering how things ought to be to studying states and societies as they really are, he may also be considered to be the founding father of political realism. Two centuries before Hobbes, he located the vital force of human behavior and thus society in passions, not reason. Although Ibn Khaldûn’s philosophy of history was Th e I n f lu e n c e o f I s l a m i c Va lu e s a n d I d e a s 35 grounded in material-empirical reality, it also embraced political philosophy and religion.

The west (Maghreb and Western Sudan) was, from the eleventh century onwards, deeply (and almost exclusively) influenced by the more formal and intransigent Maliki school (Malikism), while the more liberal Shafi’ism was generally predominant in Egypt, the Horn of Africa, and on the East African coast. In the eleventh century, Islam developed in two directions that had a profound influence on the relations between Islam and African societies. On the one hand, Sunnism tended to impose, through the law, uniformity on the authority of the state, education, and a single Muslim rite.

35 Th e I n f lu e n c e o f I s l a m i c Va lu e s a n d I d e a s 33 In Bornu, the rulers (mai), traditionally regarded as true living gods, filled their courts with learned Muslim clerics. Islamic justice was dispensed by the Muslim judges (kadi) only in the urban areas, while indigenous African law continued to be administered to the African majority in the country. Muslim scholars—such as Muhammad Bagayokho, Mahmud Kati, and Ahmed Baba of Timbuktu—belonged to a very small intellectual elite thinking and writing in Arabic and facing a mass of believers in African indigenous religion, whom they considered themselves duty-bound to convert to Islam.

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