Contemporary Journal of African Studies <p>The <em>Contemporary Journal of African Studies</em>, formerly published as <em>Research Review of the Institute of African Studies</em> (see RRIAS pages here: <a title="/index.php/rrias/index" href="/index.php/rrias/index" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a>) publishes academic and scholarly articles that set forth the findings of new research in any branch of African Studies, or discuss and re-evaluate earlier or current research or publications by an author or authors.</p> Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana en-US Contemporary Journal of African Studies 2343-6530 <p>© Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, 2013</p><p>The journal content is licensed under a Creative Commons License Attribution – Non-Commercial, No-Derivates CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.</p> From the Editorial Team <p>The CJAS Editor-in-Chief's introduction to issue 7.2</p> Akosua Adomako Ampofo Copyright (c) 7 2 iv v 10.4314/contjas.v7i2. Citizens or Spectators? Civic Engagement and Informality of Citizenship in Ghana <p>In his inauguration speech on 7th January 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo challenged Ghanaians to be ‘ citizens not spectators.’ This call resonates with conceptions of citizenship that prioritise the state as the most salient arena of engagement. But social and political-economy factors shape how and where social belonging and civic participation get enacted. This paper offers some reflections on patterns of social belonging and civic engagement using data from the nationally representative Afrobarometer survey, which I supplement with qualitative materials from newspaper sources and in-depth interviews. The findings indicate that Ghanaians have a strong sense of social belonging and national attachment, but also shy away from formal engagement <br>with the state. This phenomenon of attached-detachment is manifested in enthusiastic participation in highly circumscribed aspects of national political life, like voting, while recoiling from more institutionally structured aspects of civic life. Proximity – physically or socially defined – is important for this enactment of citizenship. There is high engagement with state officials that are nearby, but rarely with those at arm’s-length. The paper elaborates on the underlying informality of this approach to citizenship.</p> Kofi Takyi Asante Copyright (c) 7 2 1 17 10.4314/contjas.v7i2.1 Democratization Trapped in Electoral Violence: Is Sub-Saharan Africa a Dangerous Place for Democracy? <p>The third wave of democratization that hit the African region in the early 1990s left in its wake termination of authoritarian rule, and consequent enthronement of democratic regimes. This momentous event raised high hopes of enduring democracy in a region with egregious authoritarian past. Three decades after the <br>epochal transition that has been aptly dubbed Africa’s ‘second liberation’, prospects of democratic consolidation have not only waned considerably, but also initial hopes of democratic deepening have evaporated. While there is a plethora of factors that account for this democratic recession, electoral violence <br>has been implicated in the literature as a key causative factor. Whereas Africa has seen an impressive increase in the frequency of elections in the post-third wave period, this democratic gain has been eroded by a corresponding increase in the incidence of violence in African elections. By comparing Kenya, Nigeria <br>and Zimbabwe—three countries with different decolonization and democratization experiences—the paper shows that electoral violence is neither a recent phenomenon in Africa nor an exclusive strategy of a specific fraction of the power elite. The paper argues that electoral violence is promoted by such factors <br>as politicization of land access, ethnic marginalization, patrimonialism, state-backed violence, and youth unemployment. These factors combine to make the Sub-Saharan Africa a ‘risk environment’ for electoral democracy. The paper concludes by proposing some reform measures capable of protecting the ballot <br>against the bullet</p> Mojeed Adekunle Animashaun Copyright (c) 7 2 18 30 10.4314/contjas.v7i2.2 Decrypting Crypto-Colonialism and unveiling the Mask of Innocence : Switzerland’s Covert Colonial Designs and Continuity in Africa. <p>Switzerland, an example of neutrality and peace, is among Western European countries least associated with&nbsp; colonialism. Switzerland has engineered and promoted a favorable public opinion of itself to the African continent. This article suggests, however, that the history of Switzerland in Africa is much less strange to colonialism than its image. Swiss soldiers, companies and individuals—often with either the explicit or implicit consent of the Swiss authorities—participated in and benefitted from the colonial ventures of European powers in Africa. At the same time, Switzerland pursued its own colonial projects that consisted of profitable trade relations and exporting the Swiss Weltanschauung (world view) tantamount to Western racist pseudoscientific ontology. Notwithstanding, the Swiss modus operandi, which worked in the shadow of bigger players and combined business with aid and colonialism with humanitarianism, concealed the role of Switzerland in the construction and maintenance of the colonial world order. For the same reason, Swiss colonialism was not targeted by the movement of decolonization, much the same way the metropoles of colonial rule were and thus had the possibility to continue. By projecting coloniality, the colonial matrix of power and postcolonial thought, this paper contributes to the existing intellectual debate on colonial complicity (including racism) of Switzerland. We unearth the mechanism through which Swiss colonialism manifested and the mutated form it has taken in the aftermath of the decolonization process.</p> Roland Yeboah Mireku Juliana Safowaa Appiah Copyright (c) 7 2 31 44 10.4314/contjas.v7i2.3 Reflexives and Intensifiers in Dagbani and Gurenɛ <p>This paper discusses the morphology and distribution of reflexive pronouns and self-intensifiers in two Mabia (Gur) languages of Ghana, Gurenε and Dagbani. We show that reflexive pronouns in both languages are bimorphemic, comprising of a personal pronoun and the reflexivizer -miŋa and -maŋa ‘self’, for Gurenε and Dagbani respectively. We again, show that self-intensifiers and reflexives are morphologically distinct as the former has additional morpheme -maŋ and -m/ for Dagbani and Gurenε respectively, which we analyse as being responsible for the emphatic readings of self-intensifiers. We also demonstrate that reflexives are invariably in the same clause with their antecedents. We however, contend that unlike Dagbani, the third person emphatic eŋa ‘she/he’ and its weak counterpart a ‘she/he’ are mutually exclusive in Gurenε, explaining why personal names are incompatible with the former. Finally, we demonstrate that adnominal and inclusive intensifiers seem to have similar distribution, suggesting that the Gurenε and Dagbani data do not justify the postulation of three subtypes of intensifiers.</p> Samuel Alhassan Issah Avea Nsoh Samuel Awinkene Atintono Copyright (c) 7 2 45 62 10.4314/contjas.v7i2.4 Traditional Reproductive Health and Family Planning Practices among the Dagomba <p>This paper is a qualitative descriptive study of traditional reproductive health (RH) and family planning practices among Ghana's Dagomba. The purpose of the study was to examine the Dagomba traditional knowledge of RH practices and beliefs, and their relevance in the context of modern health practices. Data for <br>this study was gathered through qualitative methods, including individual in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and the use of a qualitative questionnaire among 37 participants. Thematic analysis was undertaken. In examining the Dagomba traditional knowledge of RH practices, it was recognized that the concept of RH extends across the life continuum, reaching beyond the sexually active adult population. The RH practices are based on the Dagomba health beliefs and value systems regarding sexuality and the body's functioning. The Dagomba’s health philosophies and practices regarding pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding, and sexuality have public and preventive health functions, including conflicting positions. The typical traditional RH and FP practices include abstinence, rhythm, prolonged breastfeeding, and postpartumabstinence. Conclusion: We posit that when traditional knowledge of RH is examined critically by modern health expert, it could help us understand why people from different cultures have varying interpretations and uptake of modern RH practices. Thus, we invite biomedical practitioners to be culturally sensitive and incorporate relevant knowledge of traditional RH practices into their current health education efforts.</p> Kwame Abukari Pammla M Petrucka Copyright (c) 7 2 63 78 10.4314/contjas.v7i2.5 Political Blackness in Multiracial Britain: The Ethnography of Political Violence by Mohan Ambikaipaker <p>Book Review</p> Yaa Oparebea Ampofo Copyright (c) 7 2 79 80 10.4314/contjas.v7i2.