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The Creole Idea Of Nation And Its Predicaments: The Case Of Guinea-Bissau

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Chapter Summary

This chapter outlines the major contemporary projects for the nation in Guinea-Bissau and the dilemmas and contradictions their proponents experience in trying to implement them. It claims that the idea of nation has been constructed by Guinean Creole society since the mid 1950s as a way to overcome its subordinate position within in the colonial political structure. However, after independence, the incapacity of Creole institutions to incorporate a mass of people from rural communities, the centrifugal forces of patrimonial politics and ideology as well as the contingencies of international political economy created a gap between the actual experience of nation building and the collective narratives that frame and organize social practices. That being so, Creole society is challenged by the predicament of having no conceptual repertoire to frame the experience of building the imagined community that is the nation.

Keywords: Creole society; Guinea-Bissau; international political economy; patrimonial politics



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