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New Left Review I/216, March-April 1996

Mahmood Mamdani

From Conquest to Consent as the Basic of State Formation: Reflections on Rwanda

1994 was the year the African intelligentsia lost its innocence. [1] This is a revised version of a paper presented to the conference on ‘Crisis in the Great Lakes Region’, organized by the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (codesria) in Arusha, Tanzania, 4–7 September, 1995, and subsequently to the Sephis workshop on ‘The Forging of Nationhood and the Contest over Citizenship, Ethnicity and History,’ at New Delhi, India, 6–8 February, 1996. The author would like to acknowledge research funding from the programme on Peace and International Security of the MacArthur Foundation. Literally in the same week, South Africa began a historic journey to reconciliation and the genocide in Rwanda became an epic tragedy. If we had been told a few years earlier by some clairvoyant that there would soon be a genocide in one country and a reconciliation in the other, I wonder how many of us would have guessed their identities right.

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Mahmood Mamdani, ‘From Conquest to Consent as the Basis of State Formation: Reflections on Rwanda’, NLR I/216: £3

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