Caveat emptor. Ideological paradigms in decolonising and postcolonial Africa.
The study is premised on a notion of 'African crisis'. Since the notion of crisis is multi-dimensional, hence susceptible to variable interpretations and emphases, the study posits and argues two interconnected hypotheses, thus operating within a finite investigative and interpretive framework It is hypothesised that a crisis of the state in Africa to a significant extent is a crisis in the spheres of political legitimacy and social cohesion. As both spheres fall within the operational ambit of ideology, the study examines the concept in some depth. In order to investigate the problematic of ideology in decolonising and postcolonial Africa, a distinction is made between ideology per se and phenomena and practices deemed ideological. During a process of exploring and analysing this distinction, cognisance is taken of the interface between ideology and social science paradigms. From this interface emerges the notion of an 'ideological paradigm'. Accordingly, it is hypothesised that two dominant paradigms in Cold War era Africa, namely, modernisation theory and scientific Marxism, are implicated in the crisis of the state. Included in this proposition is an argument that the application of exogenous developmental schematics in effect reproduced a colonial ethos inhospitable to endogenous innovation and initiative, not least in respect to the formulation and application of ideologies adequately congruent with - hence intelligible to - the lived worlds of Africans. Moreover, to the extent that the post Cold War era is characterised by the dominance of a neoliberal paradigm, this contention is of continuing relevance. The better to distinguish between an ideological paradigm and an ideology, the study investigates two significant departures from paradigmatic convention in decolonising Guinea-Bissau and postcolonial Tanzania. Both Amilcar Cabral and Julius Nyerere articulated and applied ideologies on the whole grounded more in local contexts than in exogenous paradigms. While Cabral's thesis is discussed at some length during the course of a literature review, Ujamaa in Tanzania comprises the dissertation's main case study. Tanzania is conceptualised as embarking on a post-independence quest for an inclusive epistemology on which to base an ideology at once locus-specific and informed by general tenets of human-centred socialism. From this quest emerged a national ethic that - in a post Cold War era - continues to influence state-societal relations in Tanzania, and thus has proven to be of lasting value.