Farmers And the State in Colonial Kano: Land Tenure And the by Steven Pierce

By Steven Pierce

In Farmers and the country in Colonial Kano, Steven Pierce examines matters surrounding the colonial kingdom and the distribution of nation energy in northern Nigeria. the following, Pierce deconstructs the colonial nation and gives a different studying of land tenure that demanding situations past perspectives of the function of oblique rule. in line with Pierce, land tenure was once the ability the colonial executive used to rule the neighborhood inhabitants and extract taxes from them, however it was once additionally a political common sense with a primary flaw and a Western bias. In Pierce’s view, colonial representations of land tenure claimed to mirror precolonial platforms of rule, yet as an alternative, essentially misrepresented farmers’ event. He continues that this misrepresentation created a paradox on the middle of the colonial nation which persists into the current and is helping to provide an explanation for modern difficulties in African states. during this sweeping and eloquent account of African historical past, readers will locate a longer family tree of land legislation and taxation in addition to wealthy fabric at the energy of indigenous wisdom and the endurance of colonial platforms of rule.

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Extra resources for Farmers And the State in Colonial Kano: Land Tenure And the Legal Imagination

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27 Moreover, protection Land and Government in Kano I 31 was only available to those who were recognizably good Muslims, which laid open the possibility of raiders’ claiming that a raid on a Muslim settlement was legitimate because its inhabitants were not “good” Muslims. The conduct of the government’s military apparatus made urban–rural relations somewhat ambivalent. The system of administration did not noticeably alter the situation. The Fulani emirs continued the system of territorial administration based on officeholding.

The chapter goes on to look at subsequent official writings on land tenure and at how the basic meaning of some of its terms altered around World War II, as questions of taxation gave way to questions of agricultural development. This shift is striking given that the phenomenon under investigation had not substantially changed: “land tenure” was transfigured, while land tenure was not. PART 2: LOOKING LIKE A STATE The first three chapters in this part are case studies in how the fetishization of land tenure constituted—and ensured the eccentricity of—government policy.

It argues that attempting to govern northern Nigeria by regulating property relations aimed government attention toward a partially illusory object—traditional land law—and ensured that it could never fully comprehend the nature of that illusion. It addresses head-on the question of how an intuitively disabling gap be- Introduction I 21 tween popular social organization and government models of society can result in a government that nonetheless functions, at least minimally, to regulate its populace.

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