'In this compassionate, elegantly written book Patrick Chabal argues that mainstream political science, political theory and economics fail to do justice to the complexities of African social life. In their place, he offers an interdisciplinary, interpretive approach that offers sensitive insights into contemporary political realities from the point of view of the people who suffer and strive through them.'
Tim Kelsall, African Affairs
'This is an important rumination on those deeper aspects of African life that most political science finds too scary, or too complicated, to investigate. Chabal asks deadly simple questions about very complex matters.'
John Lonsdale, University of Cambridge