IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Magic and witchcraft: Implications for democratization and poverty-alleviating aid in Africa

Listed author(s):
  • Kohnert, Dirk

The belief in occult forces is still deeply rooted in many African societies, regardless of education, religion, and social class of the people concerned. According to many Africans its incidence is even increasing due to social stress and strain caused (among others) by the process of modernization. Most often magic and witchcraft accusations work to the disadvantage of the poor and deprived, but under particular circumstances they become a means of the poor in the struggle against oppression by establishing “cults of counterviolence”. Magic and witchcraft beliefs have increasingly been instrumentalized for political purposes. Apparently they can be used to support any kind of political system, whether despotic or democratic. The belief in occult forces has serious implications for development cooperation. Development projects, which constitute arenas of strategic groups in their struggle for power and control over project resources, are likely to add further social stress to an already endangered precarious balance of power, causing witchcraft accusations to flourish. In addition, witchcraft accusations may serve as indicators of hidden social conflicts which are difficult to detect by other methods.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0305-750X(96)00045-9
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 24 (1996)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 1347-1355

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:24:y:1996:i:8:p:1347-1355
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window

  1. Kohnert, Dirk, 1988. "Socialism without liberation: Land Reclamation Projects in Guinea-Bissau," MPRA Paper 16497, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 28 Jul 2009.
  2. Kohnert, Dirk & Elwert, Georg & Bierschenk, Thomas, 1993. "The long-term effects of development aid - Empirical studies in rural West Africa," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 83-111.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:24:y:1996:i:8:p:1347-1355. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.