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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Africa has often been omitted from general histories of nationalism since Western scholars have seen the European powers’ strategies of decolonization to be historically more important than the emergence of African nationalism and because post-colonial Africa appears to be, uniquely, a continent of false nations and failing states, cut off from world history. This introduction places Africa back into world history by highlighting how Africa’s modern history is intertwined with recent global economic history, by showing the close comparisons between European nationalisms and African political ethnicity as reactions to the social disorders of capitalist modernity and, finally, by showing how far recent African state-building has been conditioned by the foundations laid in the colonial era of state-building.

Keywords: Africa comparable with Europe, challenge of modernity, colonial legacies, political ethnicity as modern, global economy and African governance, imagined history

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