Ghosts of ethnicity

From Thomas Laely, “Peasants, Local Communities, and Central Power in Burundi“:

The existence of ethnic groups has been questioned in recent years by some scholars, while others have contested or emphasised their importance, usually for political reasons. But as Jean Bazin once said, “As in the case of ghosts, the question is not to know if they exist or not, but why they appear.”

(Stay tuned for more Burundi blogging as I launch into my MA thesis on state-building in Rwanda & Burundi!)

6 thoughts on “Ghosts of ethnicity

  1. Rachel – Connections from here (Burundi) are exceptionally bad recently – but I did want to say that you have a good research topic, and am happy to exchange views and news with you. I’m currently working on another blog touching on issues of ethnicity and so have reposted an earlier blog on 19th century aspects of the topic.

    Regards – diana.


    1. Thanks, Diana! I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now as well, and especially appreciate your posting of such historical material. (The tribes of Ham, seriously!) Looking forward to continuing the conversation. : )


      1. The background of current events is what interests me – the formulation of ideologies and assumptions on which we have built our own studies.

        Look forward, too, to exchanges – and BTW, do try to get ahold of Les Barundi, by Hans Meyer. Excellent background.


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