Development from below : a Namibian case study
This Discussion Paper offers a revised lecture by Reinhart Kössler, which was originally presented to a Research Forum organised by The Nordic Africa Institute jointly with the Seminar for Development Studies of Uppsala University. It deals with aspects of rebuilding societies from below firstly in a general development studies discourse on a more theoretical level, considering aspects of the current debate on globalisation. This is followed by a concrete case study from southern Namibia. It illustrates local responses by the Witbooi-Nama in Gibeon to (re-)define identity within the context of a (nation-)state in a post-apartheid society. The paper is commented upon by two discussants (Per Strand and Henning Melber).
The contributions reflect on the issue of social reconstruction in the context of (southern) Africa with reference to a particular marginalised group. They deal, among other things, with the question of social power and the "invention of tradition" in local efforts to gain from, or seek integration into, the nation building process.