Madagascar: Conflicts Of Authority In The Great Island

Front Cover
Routledge, Apr 2, 2019 - History - 272 pages

The world's fourth largest island, with a unique biological and physical endowment, Madagascar is home to an extraordinary insular civilization that has struggled for more than a century against external domination. In this sensitive introduction to the Indian Ocean's "great island," Philip Allen shows how family affinities and community loyalties at the foundation of Madagascar's culture have influenced Malagasy nationalism and forged islandwide traditions. These same principles have nonetheless engendered social cleavages and resistance to economic and political change. In chapters on modern Madagascar, Allen analyzes the inability of a series of regimes to maintain authority among a people deeply bound to rituals of communication with their spiritual environment. He demonstrates how the first Malagasy Republic became stigmatized by its lingering identification with French colonialism and how the nationalist revolution in 1972 soon hardened into autocratic radicalism. Allen explores the complex challenges facing Madagascar's resurgent democratic forces–including a need to conserve the island's irreplaceable biodiversity and to facilitate authentic participation in public affairs without offending ancestral customs and local precedents. Finally, he discusses efforts to end Madagascar's economic and political dependence and to improve living conditions for its tragically impoverished population.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

List of Tables and Illustrations
Enigmas of Malagasy Settlement
An Archipelago of Localities
Notes
From Paternalism to Revolution
Revolution as Myth
Society in Modern Madagascar
Flight from Reality
Continuity as Revolution
Glossary
About the Book and Author
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2019)

Allen, Philip M.

Bibliographic information