The revolutionary potential of African peasantries : some tentative remarks

TitleThe revolutionary potential of African peasantries : some tentative remarks
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsR. Buijtenhuijs
Series titleASC working paper
Pagination - 28
Date Published1991///
PublisherAfrican Studies Centre
Place PublishedLeiden
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number90-70110-87-3
KeywordsAfrica, peasant rebellions, Subsaharan Africa

Much has been written on African peasantries in general and on 'peasant wars' in Africa in particular, and yet there is a remarkable gap in the existing literature. On the one hand, literature on peasant wars in general tends to ignore Africa South of the Sahara; on the other hand, none of the studies of specific African peasantries have probed their material in the light of the more general debates. The present paper tries to remedy this anomalous situation. It first discusses two general theories on the revolutionary potential of different categories of peasants, viz. the theory developed by H. Alavi (1965) and E.R. Wolf (1973) and that proposed by J.M. Paige (1975). It then examines these theories in light of some examples of peasant unrest from Africa, notably Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Chad, Madagascar, Angola, and Kenya. The analysis suggests that neither theory is able to account for all the cases examined


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Citation Key3898