This paper deals with aspects of rebuilding societies from below firstly in a general development studies discourse on a more theoretical level, considering aspects of the current debate on globalization. This is followed by a concrete case study from southern Namibia. It illustrates local responses by the Witbooi-Nama in Gibeon to (re-)define identity within the context of a (nation-)state in a post-apartheid society. The contributions reflect on the issue of social recon-struction in the context of (southern) Africa with reference to a particular marginalised group. They deal, among other things, with the question of social power and the "invention of tradition" in local efforts to gain from, or seek integration into, the nation building process.
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About the Author
Henning Melber is Executive Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. He was Research Director of the Nordic Africa Institute and co-ordinator of the project “Liberation and Democracy in Southern Africa” (2000–2006) and Director of the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU) in Windhoek (1992–2000).