n Journal for Contemporary History - The problem of state and civil society in Southern Africa : a question of a little too late?

Volume 29, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



In recent publications on African politics there has been a marked tendency to deprivilege the state. This has encouraged the belief that the state is not, or is no longer, the main organising principle of politics in Africa. Of course, this deprivileging of the state might well reflect disillusionment with the track record of Africa's failed state but, as Munro (1997:113) remarks, the state is still a pivotal role player in African countries and continues to have a strong political presence inthe life of Africa's citizens.

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