- The Oxford Handbook of Modern African History
- List of Contributors
- Introduction African Histories: Past, Present, and Future
- Ecology and Environment
- Demography and Disease
- African Slave Trades in Global Perspective
- States and Statelessness
- Ethnicity and Identity
- Warfare and the Military
- The African Diaspora
- African Colonial States
- Law, Crime, and Punishment in Colonial Africa
- Work and Migration
- Between the Present and History: African Nationalism and Decolonization
- Indigenous African Religions
- New Religious Movements
- Education and Literacy
- Women and Gender
- Urbanization and Urban Cultures
- Health and Healing
- Economic Growth
- Visual Cultures
- Music in Modern African History
- African Literary Histories and History in African Literatures
- Communications and Media in African History
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the evolution and characteristics of scholarly writing on the history of African warfare and military organization. Beginning with an overview of the challenges involved in reconstructing Africa’s violent past, the paper deals with war in the deeper past before focusing on the nineteenth century, an era in which it is argued Africa experienced a revolution in military affairs. Violence and military structures took new forms in the twentieth century, from colonial armies to modern armed struggle aimed at the overthrow of authoritarian regimes. Throughout, the chapter proposes new avenues for research, including making ever closer connections between violence, politics, and economy over the longue durée.
Richard J. Reid is Professor of the History of Africa at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Previously he taught at Durham University and at the University of Asmara in Eritrea. His work on the history of warfare and military organization in Africa has resulted most recently in Frontiers of Violence: Genealogies of Conflict since c.1800 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) and Warfare in African History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012). He is currently working on historical consciousness and culture in Uganda.
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