University of Florida

African Studies Quarterly

Skip to main Content   Search   Main Navigation   Quick Links   Resources   Website   Social   Address   What is this view

Main Navigation

Quick Links

Home African Political Cultures and the Problems of Government

African Political Cultures and the Problems of Government

by Elliott P. Skinner


The thesis of this essay is that African countries will continue to be racked by conflicts unless leaders agree about how to govern their multi-faceted nation-states and how to distribute their economic resources equitably. Without a compromise that would ensure “ethnic justice”, neither so-called “liberal democracy”, nor any other species of government will succeed in Africa. If “liberal democracy” presently has any evolutionary advantages, it will have to adapt to local realities, and its contours will be shaped by indigenous African socio-cultural traditions. These have been changing over time, and now face the challenge of a Post-Cold War world where people are demanding equity. Can anthropologists contribute to the debate about these issues?

Full Text PDF

Elliott P. Skinner an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, where he held the Franz Boas Chair of Anthropology. He served as US Ambassador to Upper Volta.




Social links


What is this view?

You are using a dynamic assistive view of the University of Florida site. It has all the same data and features of the original site but formatted just with assistive users in mind. It has links and content reorganized to aid assistive users and has controls at the bottom under assistive options that allow you to control key aspects such as font size and contrast colors etc.
This is not a separate text-only site, it's a dynamic view that uses unique technology from Usablenet to give assistive users better, more accessible access to the same content and features as all users that use the graphic view of the site.

Assistive Options

Top of page

Assistive Options

Open the original version of this page.

Usablenet Assistive is a Usablenet product. Usablenet Assistive Main Page.