A Genealogy of the Durbar

in The Pan-African Nation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780226023540
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226023564 | DOI:
A Genealogy of the Durbar

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The case of the Nigerian durbar carries the arguments and perspectives of Mitchell and Bourdieu into the postcolonial situations of third world nation-states. Following Mitchell's discussions of the emergence of “the state” and “the economy” not as functional domains of institutional differentiation but as representational “effects” of modern political practices, the domain of “culture” is considered in a similar light. The point here is not merely synthetic, adding a new domain variable to Mitchell's analysis of the state, but instead follows his radical shift in perspective on the very processes of institutional differentiation and objectification. In brief, this refers historically to the practical and technical demarcation of internal distinctions—“methods of organization, arrangement and representation”—that come to be seen as external boundaries between the state and civil society, the state and a “free” market, or in the case of the Nigerian durbar, the state and its national “culture.”

Keywords: Nigerian durbar; nation-states; civil societies; free market; national culture; modern politics

Chapter.  13466 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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