Center of History and Cultural Anthropology
Institute for African Studies of The Russian Academy of Sciences
ru | eng

December 22, 2021 Paper by Corresponding Member RAS, Doctor of History, prof. Bondarenko D.M. within the framework of the scientific seminar "Culture and Society"

On December 22, 2021 at 12 noon, within the framework of the seminar of the Center for History and Cultural Anthropology "Culture and Society", a report by D.M. Bondarenko took place. The Historical and Cultural Context of Nation-building in Post-colonial Africa: Tanznaia, Zambia, and Uganda Compared. The seminar was held online using the ZOOM system.

In the form the nation-state is known until now, it formed in Europe and North America in the Early Modern time and flourished in the 19th and 20th centuries, being adequate to realities of the world of industrial capitalism and cultural nationalism. However, other trends, related to super-intensive globalization and post-industrialism, are dominating in the world nowadays. At present, the Western states have to depart from the classical concept of the nation and seek solutions to a completely different problem - of supporting their citizens’ unity at preservation of cultural diversity brought by migrants from all over the world in recent decades. Under the current circumstances, it should not be ruled out that post-colonial states, most of which are multicultural initially due to their unique history of formation, can find themselves in an advantageous position, if they abandon attempts to build nations according to the outdated classical Western pattern. While irreversible globalization is associated with Modernity started in the West half a millennium ago, nation-building in contemporary post-colonial countries shows that globalization is by no means equal to Westernization, and that Modernity as a historically specific type of society and culture, splits into multiple modernities.

The theoretical analysis is proved by comparison of the evidence from three post-colonial African states: Tanzania, Zambia, and Uganda. Although today, Tanzania is closer than Zambia and Uganda (as well as most other African countries) to formation of the nation in the classical Western sense, the author admits that the global trend towards multiculturalization of nations may become no less advantageous for countries like Zambia and Uganda. However, it is emphasized in the paper that proper leadership based on an ideology of multicultural nation is a necessary prerequisite for realization of these favorable conditions.