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date: 26 April 2019

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.

Keywords: warfare, military organization, revolution, violence, politics, economy, colonial armies, armed struggle, longue durée.

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