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Underdevelopment and Class Formation in Sierra Leone

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One of the cardinal issues in the radical debate on underdevelopment in Africa during the late sixties and throughout the seventies has been the discussion of the nature of class formation, the role of the post-colonial state and the relationship between them. In the context of Anglophone West Africa, the debate has focussed on larger states such as Nigeria, acknowledged as having been widely penetrated by colonial capitalism; or on those which represented efforts to implement socialist strategies such as Ghana under Nkrumah. Little similar research has been directed to smaller states such as Sierra Leone-which remained largely analytically accessible through conventional or liberal paradigms. This paper seeks to do two things: (i) to launch a critique of the conventional analytical paradigms and (ii) to embark on a critical application of class analysis to the Sierra Leone social formation.

Affiliations: 1: University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe


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