'Damnosa Hereditas': Ethnic Ranking and the Martial Races Imperative in Africa

Title'Damnosa Hereditas': Ethnic Ranking and the Martial Races Imperative in Africa
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1980
AuthorsKirk-Greene, Anthony H. M.
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Volume3
Issue4
Pagination393-414
Date Published10/1980
Abstract

By examining the political constraints imposed on the newly independent African governments through the damnosa hereditas, the fatal legacy, of British officers' commitment to the concept of martial races (as implemented in 19th century India for example), new light is thrown on ethnicity in the army as a factor in the military intervention which since 1958 has characterised the state of the nations of independent Africa. In a number of instances, the ethnic composition of the armed forces - this time the other ranks (enlisted men), not the more conspicuous officer corps - inherited by African governments at independence was so distorted when set beside the aggregate ethnic make-up of the new nation that the chance of national unity and stability of government was at once measurable impaired. [africabib.org]

URLhttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01419870.1980.9993313
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DOI:10.1080/01419870.1980.9993313