Mahmood Mamdani


In this presentation to the Rotary International District Conference in Munyonyo, Mahmood Mamdani links events in Tahrir Square to the 1976 Soweto uprisings in South Africa. This is a the full text of the speech.


Reflecting on the context behind South Sudan's exercise in self-determination and the potential sources of political violence following the country’s independence, Mahmood Mamdani explores Sudan's longer-term historical experience – the role of imposed administrative identities under the colonial system, migration, religion, slavery and the emergence of a politicised Islam – and the contemporary challenges around rethinking political citizenship.


‘We have no choice but to train the next generation of African scholars at home. This means tackling the question of institutional reform alongside that of postgraduate education. Postgraduate education, research and institution building will have to be part of a single effort,’ writes Mahmood Mamdani, in a paper reflecting on how a market-driven model has affected the nature of research in African universities.


Seeing the bombing of Libya only as an exercise in saving civilian lives barely scratches the surface, writes Mahmood Mamdani.


‘The violence in Congo may seem unintelligible but its roots lie in institutional practices introduced under colonialism, which 50 years of independence have only exacerbated,' writes Mahmood Mamdani.


Professor Mahmood Mamdani is back in Uganda after more than a decade abroad with his last assignment at Colombia University where he was the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government in the Department of Anthropology and Political Science. He recently took a position at Makerere University as the director of Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR). Moses Mulondo talked to him about the new challenge, a federal Uganda and South Sudan.


Zapiro’s controversial cartoon featuring the Prophet Mohamed, published in South Africa’s Mail & Guardian, prompts Mahmood Mamdani to ‘reflect on times and places when humour turned deadly’. Speaking at the University of Johannesburg, Mamdani explores the relationship between ‘two great liberal objectives, freedom of speech and civil peace’. Zapiro’s cartoon, Mamdani argues, has misread the real challenges we face today: The intellectual challenge of distinguishing between ‘two strands more

cc In response to the International Criminal Court's (ICC) arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Mahmood Mamdani argues that those enforcing rights also need to be held accountable when justice is sought. Skilfully tracing the Darfur conflict's broader history, Mamdani argues that basing its understanding on spurious assumptions – seeing the duration more

"It is hard to think of a figure more reviled in the West than Robert Mugabe. Liberal and conservative commentators alike portray him as a brutal dictator, and blame him for Zimbabwe’s descent into hyperinflation and poverty," writes Mahmood Mamdani. " ... There is no denying Mugabe’s authoritarianism, or his willingness to tolerate and even encourage the violent behaviour of his supporters. His policies have helped lay waste the country’s economy, though sanctions have played no small part, more

On July 14, after much advance publicity and fanfare, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court applied for an arrest warrant for the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, on charges that included genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Important questions of fact arise from the application as presented by the prosecutor. But even more important is the light this case sheds on the politics of the “new humanitarian order.”

The conflict in Darfur began as a more