The Modern Sovereign
The ‘Modern Sovereign’, a notion indebted both to Hobbes’ Leviathan and Marx’s conception of capital, refers to the power that governed the African multitudes from the earliest colonial days to the postcolonial era. It is an internalized power, responsible for the multiform violence exerted on bodies and imaginations.
Joseph Tonda contends that in Central Africa—and particularly in Gabon and the Congo—the body is at the heart of political, religious, sexual, economic and ritual power. This, he argues, is confirmed by the strong link between corporeal and political matters, and by the ostentatious display of bodies in African life. The body of power asserts itself as both matter and spirit, and it incorporates the seductive force of money, commodities, sex and knowledge. Tonda’s analysis reveals how this sovereign power is a social relation, historically constituted by the violence of the African cultural Imaginary and the realities of State, Market and Church. It is to be understood, he asserts, through a generalized theory of economic, political and religious fetishism.
By introducing this crucial critical voice from contemporary Africa into the English language, The Modern Sovereign makes a significant contribution to field of anthropology, political science and African studies.
If you are ordering from India, your order will be shipped from Seagull Books, Calcutta.
If you are ordering from the US or the UK or anywhere else in the world, your order will be shipped from the University of Chicago Press' distribution centre, Chicago.
Please note: For customers paying in currencies other than Indian rupee or US dollar, prices will be calculated according to the currency conversion rate at the time of purchase and may vary from the printed price.