Bite Size Theory: The Politics of Suffering and Smiling

“The study of politics is concerned with power. It normally starts from things as they are supposed to be: individuals competing for resources within a given socio-economic framework. But perhaps this is the problem: what we set out to discover is what we know already because we have a sense of how the political system works. What we need to do is to come to the question of politics from a different angle – one that enables us to cast a different light on what is happening, for it is the light we cast, the questions we ask, which ultimately determines what we see.”

Patrick Chabal, 2009, Africa: The Politics of Suffering and Smiling, London, Zed Books.

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