IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

On the Renaissance of African Modes of Thought - The Example of the Belief in Magic and Witchcraft


  • Kohnert, Dirk


The analysis of African occult belief systems provides a unique example for demonstrating that seemingly outdated and exotic African modes of thought, such as the belief in magic and witchcraft, are modern and have significant impact on social, economic and political structures. Official approaches, designed to cope with the problems of witchcraft violence in Africa, have since the advent of colonial rule, been based on eurocentric views and colonial jurisdiction, legitimised by Western social science. These answers are inadequate; in fact, they constitute part of the problem itself. African religions could provide a framework for valuable indigenous solutions to actual problems of contemporary life, including the problem of witchcraft violence. Besides this, they might, under certain conditions, provide the outside world with an inspiring new dimension of philosophic thought and emancipative action for example, within the realm of conflict resolution and reconciliation. However, even in the case of the ‘domestication’ of witchcraft violence, this holds only in so far as appropriate African answers can be shielded against the negative impact of globalised liberal capitalism.

Suggested Citation

  • Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "On the Renaissance of African Modes of Thought - The Example of the Belief in Magic and Witchcraft," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 39-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:118678

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Janjhji, Noor Zaman & Memon, Noor Ahmed, 2007. "Pakistan lags behind in technical textile," MPRA Paper 8886, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Samina Shabir & Reema Kazmi, 2007. "Economic Effects of the Recently Signed Pak-China Free Trade Agreement," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 12(Special E), pages 174-202, September.
    3. mahmood, Hamid mahmood & gul, Sidra gul, 2014. "Assessing the impact of fta: a case study of pakistan- malaysia fta," MPRA Paper 55802, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Jun 2014.
    4. Muhammad Anees & Ahmed Jamil & Faisal Shahzad, 2011. "Free trade agreements, exhange rates and foreign portfolio investment in pakistan. dynamic causality analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(1), pages 1-8.
    5. Hock, Ow Chin & Ow-Taylor, Chwee Huay, 1993. "Graduation from the U.S. GSP-a comparative study of the East Asian newly industrializing economies," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 89-98.
    6. Monica DUDIAN, 2012. "Governance Mechanisms And Organizational Innovation Within The Textile Industry And Textile Products," Management Research and Practice, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 4(4), pages 47-55, December.
    7. Redwan Ahmed & Md. Tawhidul Islam & Md. Al-Amin, 2013. "The Effects of Market Diversification Activities on Bangladesh RMG Export," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 3(4), pages 938-948.
    8. Ozden, Caglar & Reinhardt, Eric, 2005. "The perversity of preferences: GSP and developing country trade policies, 1976-2000," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 1-21, October.
    9. Syed Abdul Sattar Shah & Anwar Ali Shah G.Syed & Faiz M.Shaikh, 2014. "Impact of Textile Industry on Pakistan Economy," Romanian Statistical Review Supplement, Romanian Statistical Review, vol. 62(3), pages 43-59, March.
    10. Monica DUDIAN & Liliana CRACIUN, 2011. "Industrial Agglomerations and Clusters. The Textile and Textile Products Industry from Romania," Economia. Seria Management, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 14(1), pages 40-51, June.
    11. Muhammad, Andrew & Ngeleza, Guyslain K., 2009. "The role of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) in determining carnation demand in the United Kingdom: implications for Colombian and Kenyan exports," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 48(3), September.
    12. Ow-Taylor, Chwee Huay & Hock, Ow Chin, 1991. "Graduation from U.S. GSP: The case of Singapore," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 285-299.
    13. Ilse Scheerlinck & Luc Hens & Rosette S’Jegers, 1996. "Free trade or protection? belgian textile and clothing firms’ trade preferences," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 132(4), pages 723-739, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Elena Briones Alonso & Lara Cockx & Johan Swinnen, 2017. "Culture and Food Security," Working Papers id:12061, eSocialSciences.
    2. Kohnert, Dirk, 2010. "Drivers of change or cut-throat competitors? Challenging Cultures of Innovation of Chinese and Nigerian migrant entrepreneurs in West Africa," MPRA Paper 23132, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Schumacher, Heiner & Hadnes, Myriam, 2010. "Contract Enforcement by the Gods," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 11, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    4. Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "Togo: Failed election and misguided aid at the roots of economic misery," MPRA Paper 5207, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Occult belief systems; Sub-Saharan Africa; Magic; Witchcraft; African Renaissance; African Philosophy;

    JEL classification:

    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:118678. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.