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  • From Poverty to Informality? The Social Question in Africa in a Historical Perspective

    Andreas Eckert

    Chapter from the book: Breman, J et al. 2019. The Social Question in the Twenty-First Century: A Global View.

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    This paper analyses the social question in Africa since the colonial period with a focus on social (in)security and labor against the backdrop of a related research literature that largely ignores the continent. In the rich field of social sciences’ studies of the welfare state, Africa does not feature prominently. However, the history of the social question in Africa has a great many lessons to offer to those who are interested in tracing the historical connections between regions and engaging with the idea of the North Atlantic world as “normal” and the rest as “exceptional” and “in need of explanation.” If our historical analysis of the social question has to transcend the notion of a single telos modeled after the example of the West that is supposed to be achieved everywhere, then we must take the different social forms in Africa seriously in all their complexity and all their linkages with welfare and labor forms elsewhere.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Eckert, A. 2019. From Poverty to Informality? The Social Question in Africa in a Historical Perspective. In: Breman, J et al, The Social Question in the Twenty-First Century. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.74.j
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    Additional Information

    Published on July 30, 2019

    DOI
    https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.74.j


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