1st Edition

Marx and Lenin in Africa and Asia Socialism(s) and Socialist Legacies

Edited By Harry Verhoeven Copyright 2022
    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    The spectres of Marx and Lenin have long loomed prominently in Africa and Asia and they still do so in the 21st century. Many of the founding fathers of postcolonial republics believed socialism could transform their societies. Yet what socialism meant in theory and in practice has always been highly heterogeneous and differed markedly from the European experience. African and Asian movements did not simply mimic the ideas and institutions of Soviet or European Marxists, but endeavoured to define their own, experimenting with a variety of interpretations and in the process adapting doctrines and templates to their unique contexts.

    This volume brings together anthropologists, historians and political scientists from around the world to reflect on three great challenges which various types of socialists in Africa and Asia have had to simultaneously contend with in their articulations of liberation: how to build up empirical and juridical statehood, how to forge a nation after colonial divide-and-rule, and how to position themselves in an international order not of their making.

    In a post-colonial world, this helps centre a key question running through the different chapters: what can African and Asian imaginaries, institutions and practices tell us about socialism as a global phenomenon?

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Third World Quarterly.

    1. ‘What is to be done?’ Rethinking socialism(s) and socialist legacies in a postcolonial world

    Harry Verhoeven

    2. Indonesian socialism of the 1950s: from ideology to rhetoric

    Kevin W. Fogg

    3. Trade union education in former French Africa (1959–1965): ideological transmission and the role of French and Italian communists

    Gabriele Siracusano

    4. Arab encounters with Maoist China: transnational journeys, diasporic lives and intellectual discourses

    Mohammed Turki Alsudairi

    5. Left turn to legalism: fact-finding inquiries as political critique in 1970s India

    Ankita Pandey

    6. Free to decide their destiny? Indigenous resistance to external forms of socialist modernity in Siad Barre’s Somalia

    Radoslav Yordanov

    7. The party and the gun: African liberation, Asian comrades and socialist political technologies

    Harry Verhoeven

    8. ‘Just another African country’: socialism, capitalism and temporality in Mozambique

    Jason Sumich

    9. Indonesia’s missing Left and the Islamisation of dissent

    Vedi R. Hadiz

    10. The legacies of Marx and Lenin in Vietnam: a historical and regional perspective

    Tuong Vu

    11. Ambivalent successes, magnificent failures and historical afterlives: a postscript to Marx and Lenin in Africa and Asia

    Julia C. Strauss


    Harry Verhoeven is Senior Research Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, and the Convenor of the Oxford University China-Africa Network. His books include Why Comrades Go to War (with Philip Roessler), Water, Civilisation and Power in Sudan and Beyond Liberal Order: States, Societies and Markets in the Global Indian Ocean (with Anatol Lieven). He is Senior Adviser to the European Institute of Peace.