Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
As indicated by F. Nyamnjoh (2003) in the 1950s and 1960s, modernization theorists predicted that traditional rule would soon become outdated and would be replaced by “modern” bureaucratic offices and institutions. Nyamnjoh further contends that even underdevelopment and dependency theorists did not seem to give chiefs and chieftaincy much of a chance; they saw chieftaincy as lacking in mobilizational ability for social and political change. However, political scientists, sociologists, historians, and educated traditional leaders in Africa acknowledge the resilience of chieftaincy institutions (cf. Nyamnjoh, 2003, pp. 233–250; Chief Linchwe II, 1989, pp. 99–102). Today, new scholarship in Southern Africa such as that by Lungisile Ntsebeza (2005) is paying attention to chieftaincy, intrigued by the manner in which the institution remains part of the cultural and political landscape constantly negotiating and renegotiating its position within the modern institutions of countries such as Botswana. This entry examines the place of traditional rule ...