Madagascar: Conflicts Of Authority In The Great Island

Front Cover
Avalon Publishing, 1995 - History - 254 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 island-wide 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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

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

Contents

Betsileo musicians
11
Palace of the Prime Ministers
23
From Paternalism to Revolution
31
Copyright

16 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1995)

Philip M. Allen is dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Frostburg State University in Maryland.

Bibliographic information