Professor Mamdani has been nominated by Prospect magazine in its annual list of the World’s Top 50 Thinkers for 2021. Please scroll down the list alphabetically.
Why do so many nation states struggle to accommodate minorities? Mahmood Mamdani argues in Neither Settler Nor Native that the colonial “define and rule” attitude towards ethnic or religious minorities—exemplified by the British division of Indians into hermetically sealed Hindu and Muslim groupings—lives on in postcolonial states. Such politicisation of identity (you could even call it identity politics) often leads to extreme violence. Mamdani includes the US as a settler-colonial nation due to its treatment of Native Americans, who still do not have full constitutional protections. Hope, Mamdani thinks, lies in the South African model of truth and reconciliation.