Dr. Lamont DeHaven King is Associate Professor of History at James Madison University. His recent publications include “From Caliphate to Protectorate: Ethnicity and the Colonial Sabon Gari System in Northern Nigeria,” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History (2003). He has also contributed articles on ethnicity and nationalism to the Journal of Developing Societies and the Journal of Asian and African Studies.
2006 0-7734-5743-7 This book challenges socio-historical analyses that posit a relationship between modernity and the nation-state. It questions whether the nation-state is a distinctively European phenomenon that emerged as the result of some combination of the development of capitalism and the legacy of citizenship derived from the French Revolution. It defines the state, differentiates it from the nation, and in so doing, also defines the nation-state. The book then examines ancient Egypt from the Archaic Period to the Middle Kingdom; the Hausa states, focusing on Katsina from its beginnings in the fifteenth century through its incorporation into the Sokoto Caliphate and British Empire; and the legacy of the Zulu state that emerged in the early nineteenth century. The growth and development of these three polities are offered as specific historical examples of the nation-state, the multi-ethnic state, and the nation, respectively. By concentrating on African polities that emerged in different time periods, the book also shows that an understanding of how states buttressed or transcended ethnic identity, coupled with definitional clarity, can be a more meaningful focus of analysis than any preconceived conceptualization of the nation-state premised upon Eurocentric indicators of modernity.