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Philosophical analysis of ethnicity in modern African politics, leadership and governance


Philosophical analysis of ethnicity in modern African politics leadership and governance argues that the millionist touted idea that nationalism and ethnicity would dissipate as globalization and of course universalization of political ideas on governance unfolded have been disproved as both nationalism and ethnicity have on the contrary resurged and proliferated. This points out that although there are several conceptualizations of ethnicity; the one being singled out for closer study and analysis is instrumental ethnicity, the kind strategically fermented by the political elites who at times double as military leaders, ostensibly for ethnic benefit but more often than not, for the exclusive benefits of the political or military elites themselves. The nuanced dialectic at play with instrumental ethnicity is that, superficially it looks like everybody in the ethnic grouping will benefit; indeed, for some time they may as ethnic members feel it is their son/daughter in charge, a kind of psychological satisfaction, which may be accompanied by some rudimentary economic benefits. Closer study of the dynamics of sharing locally generated resources and revenue, however, shows that lack of transparency and equity in the apportionment of those resources ends up fanning civil/tribal unrest and may flair out into open conflicts.


ethnicity, philosophy, modern, African politics and analysis